Yael Bartana infuses all her works with tensions and contradictions, blending fact and fiction, past and present to question cultural definitions of nationhood and identity. These issues play out in an epic style that draws from traditional documentary, socialist-realist propaganda and the artist’s self-scripted narratives.
Upon entering the installation of Anri Sala’s Now I see (2004), his first 35-mm film, the viewer is enveloped in total darkness. The effect is, at first, purposefully disorienting; then a flicker of light flashes upon a 10 x 12-foot screen.
One learns in “New Video, New Europe” that the video artist in East Central Europe is both a provocateur and a scribe, a witness to history whose own interventions speak of moral responsibility and redefinitions of self.