The program begins with Yael Bartana’s photographic work Resurrection I-II (2020). Displayed on billboards in several locations in the city, the work touches on questions of cultural dominance of public space and identitary attribution and belonging, as well as appropriation of pictorial schemes in the media and artistic approaches. The photographs show the artist with a half-veiled face and a live rabbit on her arm, a deliberate allusion to the highly symbolic performances of Joseph Beuys. In the year of Beuys’ 100th birthday, Bartana’s visual reinterpretation challenges, as she says, the “devout and priestly nature of the art world, as well as the authority of the traditionally male artist type.”
Resurrection I-II was created in the fall of 2020 at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden during the Jewish holidays of Jamim Noraim, the ten days of reverence between Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) that conclude the past year and pave the way for new beginnings. In the weeks surrounding the Christian Easter, which also celebrates new beginnings, Bartana’s somber photographs prompt a contrasting tension in the springtime urban space of Baden-Baden.