Applause for Israeli artist

By Julia Weiner, May 27, 2010
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A scene from Wall and Tower, a short film by the artist Yael Bartana

A scene from Wall and Tower, a short film by the artist Yael Bartana

Leading Israeli artist Yael Bartana has been awarded the £40,000 Artes Mundi Prize for Contemporary Art, the UK's largest art prize.

Ms Bartana was honoured for her work over the past eight years. Her work has been widely exhibited all over the world, including at Tate Modern earlier this year.

She was unable to accept the prize in person at the National Museum in Cardiff because she was mounting an exhibition in Malmo, Sweden.

Ms Bartana, who was born in Afula, Israel, in 1970 and now lives and works in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv, said: "I am not a political activist, but I care. There is not enough political discussion in art."

Among her works at an exhibition of the eight shortlisted artists was
Mary-Koszmary which explores the concept of post-war Jews returning to Poland.

Other works have focused on the commemoration of Yom HaZikaron (Soldiers' Memorial Day) or the removal of settlers from Gaza.

Her film, Wall and Tower, shows young Polish Jews applauding the building of a settlement in Warsaw.

    Last updated: 2:25pm, May 27 2010