Top of this document
Go directly to navigation
Go directly to page content


Yael Bartana

People can only deal with the fantasy when they are ready for it. De Paviljoens 2001-2012

Trembling Time by Yael Bartana was among the first works with which Bartana became known in the Netherlands as well as in other countries. She created the video during her stay at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. We see an image of a four-lane highway by evening. The headlights of the cars move slowly. Several moving and still shots have been placed on top of each other, the image seems to vibrate. Then we hear sirenes and we see the cars actually standing still, drivers get out of their cars and stand beside it.

Trembling Time was not staged, but it shows images of an Israeli highway during Soldier’s Memorial Day. This is the day that Israël remembers the casualties since the emerging of the state in 1948. During a minute of silence the entire public life comes to a stop – something that is best visible on a highway. All kinds of ceremonies and rituals that are imposed by the government inflict on the life of individuals – Not only in Israel, but everywhere. These actions confirm that we as individuals take part in a greater good, a nation-state.

The work by Yael Bartana explores these rituals in Israël, the country where she was born and which she now, working in a foreign country, watches critically from a distance. Her earlier films were registrations of contemporary social behavior, and her recent work reflects on the history of the Israëlian nation and the utopian political ideas that are a part of this. Her later films tell stories and are heavily staged. They refer to historical propaganda films, like her trilogy And Europe will be Stunned, which was on show in the Polish pavilion at the Biennial of Venice in 2011.

Yael Bartana was born in Israël in 1970 and lives and works in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. She went to the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Her work has been showed at, amongst others, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Moderna Museet in Malmö, the Museum of Modern Art in Warschau, PS1 in New York and the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv. She took part in the Biennials of Sao Paolo, Venice and Istanbul and in Documenta 12 in Kassel. More information about Yael Bartana can be found via

Yael Bartana, Jeruzalem, Israel, 1970

Trembling Time (2001)

Video-installation, sound
6’20” min., edition 4/5
Exhibited during Nonlinear Editing (2002), Twenty-two-thousand-five-hundred (2007), Cultuurnacht Almere (2011)
Acquired in 2001 from Galerie Annet Gelink

© Museum De Paviljoens