Event Details

Conference: and Europe will be astound

4. February 2012

11:30 - 19:00

A one-day conference
Saturday, February 4, 2011
UCIrvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Contemporary Arts Center
Colloquium Room (room 3201 third floor)

RSVP to gallery@uci.edu

In " . . . and Europe will be stunned," her video trilogy about an imaginary political movement that calls for the return of exiled Jews to Poland, Israeli artist Yael Bartan - the first non-Polish artist to represent that country at the Venice Biennale - mixes Holocaust mourning with a critique of Zionism, as well as words of peace and totalitarian visual rhetoric. Everything is fictitious but is presented as real; everything is invented but touches on authentic wounds. Bartana makes political art that does not offer the viewer a cause with which to identify, but instead instills doubts and cultivates ambiguity.

- Artforum.com Critics Picks, Best of 2011, Simone Menegoi

Key Note Speaker: Galit Eliat
Moderator: Nizan Shaked
Speakers: Yael Bartana, Gil Hochberg, Yuval Kremnitzer, and SÅ ‚awomir Sierakowski
Respondent: Juli Carson


In tandem with the UAG's U.S. premiere of Yael Bartana's ... and Europe will be stunned, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts will host a one-day conference for which the artist, along with her collaborators on the JRMiP, have been invited to speak. ...and Europe will be stunnedwas the official Polish participation at the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice. It is also the inaugural event to be held in the Contemporary Arts Center Gallery at UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Bartana's trilogy aesthetically references propaganda films of the 1930s, which, when presented as a gallery installation, collectively deconstruct a group of ideological positions that contributed to the founding of Israel - European anti-Semitism, Colonialism, Socialism, and Zionism. In so doing, the historical origin and development of Zionism, vis-a-vis Israel's contemporary political stance toward the Palestinians, is scrutinized. Key to the installation is the viewer's geographical transportation from Israel/Palestine to Poland, which is enacted in Bartana's films through a fictional political movement, "The Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland," that advocates the return of 3 million Jews back to Poland. At once ironic and serious, the work urges the viewer to consider the social mandate of a Jewish Homeland from contradictory perspectives.


11:30 - 12:00 Coffee, Tea and Refreshments

12:00 - 1:00 Galit Eliat, Keynote Address
1:00 - 2:00 Bartana and Sierakowski in Conversation
2:00 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 4:30 Panel: Hochberg, Kremnitzer, Shaked, and Carson
5:00 - 7:00 Gallery Reception


Yael Bartana is a film and video artist from Israel. Founder of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP), she represented Poland at the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice, 2011. Her work has been exhibited internationally at 29th Bienal de São Paulo, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Ludwig Museum, Budapest, the Tate Modern, London, the 6th Bienal Media City Seoul, and the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art.

Juli Carson is Associate Professor in the Studio Art Department at UCIrvine where she directs the Critical and Curatorial MFA Program and the University Art Gallery. She is author of Exile of the Imaginary: Politics, Aesthetics, Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007). Her essays on conceptual art and psychoanalysis have been published in Art Journal, Documents, October, Texte Zur Kunst and X- TRA. Her most recent book is The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011). Her forthcoming book The Conceptual Unconscious: The Poetics of Critique will be published by PoLYpeN.

Galit Eliat is a writer, curator and the founding director of The Israeli Centre for Digital Art in Holon. From 2010 she has been a research curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Her projects tackle issues such as the political situation in the Middle East, activism or political imagination in art. Along with Sebatian Cichocki, she is curator of the 54th Venice Biennale Polish Pavilion, which hosted Bartana's …and Europe will be Stunned, and editor of A Cookbook for Political Imagination (Zacheta National Gallery of Art: Sternberg Press, 2011), the accompanying exhibition publication.

Gil Hochberg is Associate Professor of Compartive Literature at UCLA. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley and her M.A. from Tel Aviv University. Hochberg's research investigates Minority Discourse, Arab and Jews in Literature, Diaspora Studies, Literary Theory, Memory and Trauma, Nationalism and Transnationalism, Psychoanalysis, Exile and Modern Poetics. Her last book was: In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination, (Princeton University Press, July 2007). Her forthcoming book is Between the Visible and the Invisible: Visual Occupations of a Conflict Zone.

Yuval Kremnitzer is a PhD candidate at Columbia University in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies and the Institute for Comparitive Literature and Society. His essay "A Polish State in the Land of Israel," was included in the A Cookbook for Political Imagination (Zacheta National Gallery of Art: Sternberg Press, 2011).

Nizan Shaked was born in Haifa Israel. She received her PhD from the Department of Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University and is currently Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History, Museum and Curatorial Studies in the Department of Art at California State University, Long Beach. Her research investigates the influence of the politics of identity on Conceptual Art and Institutional Critique, and the dynamics of the politics of difference within institutions of contemporary art. She is a contributing editor to X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly.

Sławomir Sierakowski is a Polish left-wing activist, political commentator, sociologist and literary critic. He is the leader of the organization, Krytyka Polityczna (The Political Critique) and The Publishing House of the Political Critique. He is co-founder of REDaction - a forum for discussion, art presentations and social and political projects and of the network of more than 20 local centres in Polish cities. He is the president of Stanislaw Brzozowski Association and the leader of the biggest Polish leftist movement (apart of the postcommunist party SLD). He is also the Martyred leader featured in Bartana's ...and Europe will be stunned film trilogy.

RSVP to gallery@uci.edu

This conference is made possible by generous support from Artis – Contemporary Israeli Art Fund, the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Mondriaan Foundation.

Conference: and Europe will be astound

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