new-york

Yael Bartana, True Finn, 2014, HD video, color, sound, 50 minutes.

Yael Bartana

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

Yael Bartana, True Finn, 2014, HD video, color, sound, 50 minutes.

At once persuasive and complex, Yael Bartana’s films and videos come off as more than mere intellectual exercises. Seeking to directly effect social change, Bartana enlists the services of actors and nonactors alike, whether for documentaries, as in her recent analysis of Finnish identity, True Finn, 2014, or for works that collapse fact and fiction, as in Inferno, 2013. Her latest New York exhibition featured both these videos, which allude, like her previous output, to the various “demographic threats” ongoing in the world; the thorny question of citizenship, of being a body that matters, has always been paramount in Bartana’s practice.

Inferno—which premiered in Miami and later toured biennials and festivals in São Paulo, Berlin, and Sydney—riffs on a replica of Solomon’s Temple currently under construction in São Paulo by a neo-Pentecostal congregation, the Universal

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