Herzl, 2015

Photograph series of 6 images

Yael Bartana’s ‘Herzl' series is one of the results of a decade of dialogue with one of the most legendary figures in the history of Zionism. Author of imaginary utopias, journalist, politician and jurist, the figure of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) was the embodiment of the New Jew, whose political vision created the Zionist movement ex nihilo, thereby giving birth to the future State of Israel. 

Just as in the ‘Stalag' series, in this work Bartana metamorphoses into a different person while playing on clichés and archetypes and creating a sort of mutation, a juxtaposition of past and present. The transgender aspect of this photo series is metaphoric of the Herzlian move from fiction to fact and from utopian heaven to the desert of the real.

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