Yael Bartana, "What if Women Ruled the World", 2016. Neon light installation on the North and South façades of the EMΣT building. Photo by Panos Kokkinias



ΕΜΣΤ North and South Façades

Exhibitions cycle: WHAT IF WOMEN RULED THE WORLD? Part 2

Over the past twenty years, Yael Bartana has developed an artistic practice that utilises mainly video and the moving image in order to investigate lesser-known aspects of history, as well as events that shaped collective identities and subjectivities. Her video installations are based on or make reference to historical political speeches, demonstrations, activism and other events from the present or the recent past, which are narrated, recorded, re-enacted or adapted in order to critically evaluate their impact.

Aside from her distinctive audio-visual practice, Yael Bartana creates neon light installations where quotes, statements and slogans are articulated as sculptural manifestations while retaining their symbolic reference to a yet-to-be-realised political vision. The work What if Women Ruled the World (2016) has been reconstructed as a large-scale outdoor installation, in Greek and English, on the north and south façades of the museum, posing this archetypal question to the passers-by along the Syngrou Avenue thoroughfare.

Curator: Stamatis Schizakis


Yael Bartana was born in Israel in 1970. She currently lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. During the 1990s she studied in Jerusalem (Bezalel Αcademy), in New York (School of Visual Arts) and Amsterdam (Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten). Her work has been exhibited around the world: Jewish Museum in Berlin (2021), Stedelijk Museum in Amstedam (2015), Vienna Secession (2012), Moderna Museet, Malmo (2010) and MoMA PS1 in New York Υόρκη (2008). She has participated in the Sao Paolo Biennale (2014, 2010, 2006), Berlin Biennale (2012), Documenta 12 (2007), Istanbul Biennale (2005) and Manifesta 4 (2002). She has received numerous international awards for her work, such as the Principal Prize by the International Jury and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2010), the Anselm Kiefer Prize (2003), and more recently the International Female Artists Summit Award in Rome (2023). Her work is included in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Together with Ersan Mondtag, she will represent Germany in the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024.