There is a double portrait

There is a double portrait made by Yael Bartana of Polish left-wing publicist Slawomir Sierakowski, speaking. The subtitles in the image reveal he is speaking the words ‘Jews’ and ‘Return’.

Jews return!

This work corresponds to Bartana’s video work Mary Koszmary (2007).

What this depicts is a texture of connotations; holocaust, zionism, the modern state of Israel, the Warsaw ghetto, Palestine, annexation of land etc etc. I saw the pictures and thought of right wing extremism, I’m not sure why. That’s what my horizons and prejudices¬†(in Gadamers sense) gave me. After diving more into it I understand the complicity of this artwork and the purpose of the artist to provoke confused reactions. Take a look at these Youtube comments to the clip I just shared:

“Mary Koszmary addresses contemporary anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Poland, Yes.Because otherwise Sierakowski,a left-extremist bigot who uses the specter of alleged antisemitism in Poland to fight against f.e conservatives, while at the time he is a pro-palestine/hamas supporter, would be,as a sociologist, out of work.pathetic. if Jews from Israel would like to come back,do so, we have plenty of room in Poland and less anti-sem. than f.e in Germany,France,GB- Welcome!”

” “This is a universal presentation of the impossibility of living together” – as Yael Bartana says in her video description. Her discourse is clearly made to serve her point: subversive, instigating, opening old wounds under the pretext of wanting to heal them. But she is a young artist… and she can do it … and this kind of “social / media experiments” are very promoted (read: financed ) nowadays. Sad.”

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