Yael Bartana: Wild Seeds in America

Performance Sun 19 Oct 2008 10.00AM-12.00PM Union Square South
Free admission
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In the first Wild Seeds, Yael Bartana filmed a group of 18-year-old Israeli pacifists playing a game called the "Evacuation of Gilad's Colony," based on Israel's forced removal of Jewish settlers from the Occupied Territories. Against a breathtaking rural backdrop, the participants tried to resist and break away from two of their own teammates who had volunteered to act as "authorities". The game's serious subtext became more explicit as the players' language mimicked the actual words used by the evacuated settlers.

In Wild Seeds in America, the game is repeated, but this time as a commissioned performance against the urban backdrop of New York City, with New School students who learn the original context of the game in progressive stages. The experiment looks at how one society's rituals and behaviors of dissent are received outside of their original social context, and how knowledge shapes that experience. In a broader context, it is a portrait of a community that declares its ideology in opposition to the policy of the state.

This program has been made possible, in part, by a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

This new performance work was commissioned by Parsons for OURS and is presented as part of the Vera List Center's program cycle on "Branding Democracy." It is also presented in conjunction with the exhibition, OURS: Democracy in the Age of Branding, on view from October 15, 2008 to February 1, 2009.