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And Europe Will Be Stunned

September 21, 2018–January 1, 2019
Joan Spain Gallery, Perelman Building

This film trilogy recounts the radical vision of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP). Created by artist Yael Bartana in collaboration with Polish activist Sławomir Sierakowski, the JRMiP advocates for the return of over three million Jews to their forgotten Polish homeland. Steeped in the histories of Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the conflicting Jewish and Palestinian rights of return, the three films in the trilogy use the real and the imagined to speak to global complexities in an increasingly unstable world.


Film Synopses

Still from Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist.
Still from Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist.

Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), 2007

11 minutes
In an abandoned stadium in Warsaw, the young leader of the JRMiP delivers a stirring speech calling for the return of Poland’s lost Jews.


Still from Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower), 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist
Still from Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower), 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist

Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower), 2009

15 minutes
A group of idealist Jews heed the call of the JRMiP and return to Warsaw’s Muranów neighborhood, where they construct a kibbutz (an Israeli communal settlement). Invoking the images and ideologies of the men and women who established the nation of Israel, they are depicted as pioneers, building and learning together.


Still from Zamach (Assassination), 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist
Still from Zamach (Assassination), 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist

Zamach (Assassination), 2011

35 minutes
Set in a not-too-distant future, the final film in the trilogy imagines the funeral of the leader of the JRMiP after his assassination. Through this symbolic death, the movement is unified.
All stills on this page from And Europe Will Be Stunned, 2007–11, by Yael Bartana (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013) Images courtesy of the artist

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