Also caught my eye in the NYT today was this review of what sounds like a very interesting art exhibit exploring themes of Zionism, counterhistory and the fates of Polish Jewry, from Israeli artist Yael Bartana:
“The narrative that unfolds among the three videos concerns a kind of reverse Zionism, the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, initially a fictive campaign to rebuild the Jewish population of Poland that Ms. Bartana is apparently turning into a reality.
In “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” a youthful leader stands before a microphone in the abandoned National Stadium in Warsaw exhorting an invisible audience to return, build new settlements and plant trees. Upon finishing, he is greeted by a small delegation of children and teenagers, wearing red neckerchiefs, who could be Israeli, German or Soviet.
In “Mur I weiza (Wall and Tower),” a horde of wholesome-looking young men and women, redolent of 1930s propaganda films, build a ’30s-style kibbutz in a once Jewish neighborhood in Warsaw, complete with watchtower and barbed wire that also conjure concentration camps. From the tower they unfurl a red flag whose motif resembles the German eagle.
“Zamach (Assassination)” occurs after the assassination of the young leader in the first video: an enormous bust of him worthy of Lenin is dedicated in a city square as hundreds of demonstrators and helmeted police look on. “