Yael Bartana

'Malka Germania', University Art Gallery UCI, Irvine, USA
January 22 - March 19, 2022

Public Opening Reception: Saturday, January 29, 2 – 5 pm


The University Art Galleries is please to present the American Premiere of Yael Bartana’s three-channel video installation, Malka Germania, originally commissioned by the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2020 as part of Yael Bartana’s retrospective exhibition, Redemption Now. The large-scale immersive installation – filmed and projected at the highest cinematic quality – features an androgynous female “messiah,” who flushes Berlin’s “fears, dreams, repressed traumata and memories onto the surface,” as Jewish Museum curators Shelley Harten and Gregor H. Lersch describe. “Malka Germania” is Hebrew for “Queen Germany,” while “Germania” alone simultaneously connotes the historic megalomaniacal Nazi vision of the city of Berlin. As with Bartana’s film trilogy and Europe will be stunned – which also made its American premiere in the University Art Galleries in 2011 – the hard distinction between such oppositions as past/present, trauma/utopia, villain/victim, amnesia/memory, and precarity/stability have a moebius quality, as if in a dreamscape. A film evoking the “End Days” – produced over the course of 2020 when the “apocalyptic” convergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US-presidency elections and the Black Lives Matter protests all converged – gives Malka Germania both its timely and uncanny value. As global politics have given rise to a renewed battle between democracy and autocracy, the idea of a savior rising to thwart the horror of totalitarian regimes has startling resonance. But, as Bartana’s fever-dream vision forewarns, be careful what you wish for! 


Curated by Juli Carson

Presented with generous support from Diane and Igal Silber, The Claire Trevor Society, CTSA Dean's Fund for Excellence, UCI Illuminations, and the Mondriaan Fund.


For more informationen please click here.

January 11, 2022
of 52