YANA ROTNER                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CV   STUDIO


Yana Rotner
b. 23/5/1988 in Bendery, Moldova
Imigrated to Israel in 1990
Based in Tel-Aviv


2012-2015 BFA, Photography department, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. 

2013-2014 Exchange program, The Academy of Arts HGB Leipzig, Germany.

2016-2018 MA, Interdisciplinary program of the Arts, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv.

2019 Diploma in cultural institution management, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv.

Solo Exhibitions
2022 Alon Segev Gallery ‘ In the Sun’s Shadow ‘, Tel-Aviv.

2020 Sea of Silence, Solo Show, Bialik Museum, Tel Aviv. Curated by Smadar Sheffi. 

2016 Aliki, Solo Show, Snehta Residency, Athens, Greece. Curated by Paky Vlasopoulou.

2015 9 Derivatives, final show, Bezalel Photography Department. Mentors : Yossi Breger, Dor Guez and Rami Maymon.

Group Exhibitions

2023 I Cannot HIde my Anger, Gallery Har-El. Artists: Alex Katz, Monica Bonvicini, Anne Collier, Yana Rotner, Ellswoeth Kelly, Naama Tsabar, Erica Baum, Rachel Whiteread, Cy Twombly. Jaffa.

2023 Blanc - From Antiquities to Contemporary Art, Galerie Chenel, Paris.

2021 Solidarity Weekend, Dvir Gallery, Artists: Louise Lwaler, Moshe Ninio, Barak Ravitz, Yana Rotner and Naama Tzabar. Tel-Aviv.

2021 Solidarity Weekend, Noga Gallery Tel-Aviv.

2021 The Institution, Inaguration of the Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan. Curated by Svetlana Reingold.

2021 High Voltage ll, Nassima Landau Art Foundation, Tel Aviv. curated by Suzanne Landau and Steeve Nassima.

2020 The Promise, CCA Tel Aviv. Curated by NIcola Trezzi and Thomas Rom.

2019 Album, Braverman Gallery, Tel-Aviv, curated by David Adika, Rami Maymon and Yael Efrati.

2017 Repositioning, Museum of Islamic Art, Jerusalem. curated by Alon Rasgor.

2017 9X9, Black-Box, street gallery opening exhibition, Jaffa 97, Jerusalem. Curated by Asaf Cohen and Izek Mizrahi.

2016 Slalom, Binyamin Gallery, Tel-Aviv. Curated by Dor Sharon.

2016 Tricky Tongues, Mazeh9, Tel-Aviv. Curated by Yaara Schattner.

2016 City of Refugee, The Lobby - Art Space, Tel-Aviv.

2015 Space-Oddity, Kunstverein nurnberg, Nürnberg, Germany. Curated by Simone Neuenschwander spcace-oddity.info

2014 Drawing Protest, collaboration with Dan Perjovschi, GFZK Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, Germany. Curator Olga Vostretsova

Curating and Research

2020 Looking at her Reflection, Artist curated show,
Text by Liz Deschenes,

2019 The Darkness, Artist curated show,
Text by Raphael Zagury-Orly.

2017 Black Bima, co-curated with Shelly Reich

2016 Blue Blind Spot, Bezalel Photography Department Gallery, Jerusalem.co-curated with Dr. Noam Segal.

Grants, Scholarships and Residencies

Snehta, Athens, Greece https://www.snehtaresidency.org/alice

Council for the Culture and Arts scholarship Mifal HaPais.

Mentoring and leadership program for young art students, the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts.

Leadership and social engagement “directions cultural center” in the subject of culture and history after world war 2 (Poland-Israel)

Cultural coordinator, invited by Degania A counsil to conduct a discussion with Israeli and Palestinian youth, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Publications and Reviews

2023 Review on Haaretz by Avi Pitchon Mentioning the Exhibition In the Sun’s Shadow.

2022 Review on Haaretz by Avi Pitchon - In the Sun’s Shadow.

2021 Review on Haaretz by Avi Pitchon - Five Easy Pieces.

2021 Interview on Portfolio Magazine with Hagir Peleg Rotem.

2020 Review on Haaretz by Avi Pitchon - Sea of Silence.

2020 Review on Haaretz by Avi Pitchon - Looking at her Reflection.

2020 The Promise exhibition catalog - CCA Tel Aviv.

2019 Koma6 Review on The Darkness.

2019 Review on Haaretz by Avi Pitchon - The Darkness.

2019 Resling publication ”Fireflies” for film and television. Issue 2. Edited by Anat Zanger.

2018  Society Women, InPrint, Hansen House, Jerusalem (Artist Book launch and artist talk) ho-mi.ch/society-women

2017 Interview for Konbini Magazine - Documenta 14 Issue.

2017 Repositioning, Exhibition catalogue, Museum of Islamic Art, Jerusalem.

2016 Interview for TV Channel ARTE (German/French)

2016 Interview for TV Channel ERT3 ,Athens, Greece

2016 Aesthenia printed Art Magazine ,Issue 04 ,Athens ,Greece

2016 Aliki, Exhibition catalogue, limited edition.

2015 Harama magazine “The Essence” Signature Issue.

2015 Jahresgaben-Salon, printed catalogue, kunstverein Nurnberg.

2015 Monopol art magazine, Space-Oddity exhibition review.

2015 Jacket, cover of Art Line Magazine, Switzerland, December 2014 Issue.

2014 Drawing Protest, Exhibition catalog, limited edition, Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig (GFZK)

2014 Harama magazine ,Disgraphia Issue.

2014 250 years HGB limited C-print edition ,Peter Piller class


Tel Aviv Museum of Art

L.A Mayer Museum for Islamic Art

Private Collctions


permanent collection, Tel Aviv Museum of Art



Installation view by Michal Heiman







17.11 - 23.12.2022

Yana Rotner’s first solo exhibition at Alon Segev gallery, showing a new body of work, including a series of portrait photographs and color photograms. In Italian, a portrait is called “Ritratto”, also meaning withdrawal. Yana Rotner’s portraits take this step back, retreating to an ineffable and discreet soft darkness, from which the faces seem to emerge.
Rotner filmed most of the portraits at her Tel-Aviv studio, portraits of figures from the art world, among them, a poet, a dancer, a photographer. Rotner’s work method consists of filming brief sequences using a 16mm Bolex film camera. She then develops a selection of photographs cut out from the film and prints them on paper.
In this process, the reductive photographic moment, which captures an image, can be circumvented, and a continuous sequence of images reflecting the passage of time can be recorded. This allows the artist to be in the flow of time and only later to select the image best rendering the fraction of a moment that may not have been captured by memory.

Yana Rotner, Images (from left) : Lou Woolworth l, Yasmin Davis ll, Tamar Raphael, Meshi Olinky l, Camea Smith, Meshi Olinki ll, Karin Kimel l, Yasmin Davis l, Veronica Nicole Tetelbaum, Karin Kimel ll, 2022.

  Yana Rotner, Red Photograms (After Georgia O’keeffe’s Forbidding Canyon), 2022
Green Photograms, 2019

Installation views at Alon Segev Gallery, Tel-Aviv by Elad Sarig







23.12.2020 - 20.06.2021

Internal journeys, feeling the inner space of one’s thoughts, examining the distance between the definite and the transitional state of in-between.  One may thus describe the fragmented path Yana Rotner unfolds for viewers in her exhibition Sea of Silence. Revealed in eight photographs are treetops, sections of a seascape, light sparkling on the deck of a boat, and fog. As the gaze rests on the photographs, what develops slowly is a tension along with awareness of the void, consciousness of the space. As we listen closely, a hidden sound emerges.

Composer John Cage’s piece, “4:33” was written for a single instrument or an ensemble. The musicians must be present onstage, but for four minutes and thirty-three seconds they do not play a single note. The silence slowly fills with the rustling of the audience in the concert hall and with sounds from beyond its walls. Sounds usually perceived as “background noise” take over the empty space and receive painfully pointed attention. The blacks, whites, and grays of Rotner’s photographs, which demand close observation, create space for the inner sound, for what is 

swallowed up and overtaken in the bustle of the mundane. Bialik, in his poem “Sea of Silence” states the impossibility of a sound less vacuum, arguing that quiet is not silence:

וְכָל-הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ שׁוֹתֵק; And the entire world falls silent;
וּמֵאַחֲרֵי הָרֵחַיִם And behind the millstone
שְׁאוֹן הַנַּחַל אֵינוֹ פוֹסֵק. The uproar of the brook ceases not.

Photography, like poetry, is a bypass route, refining, distancing, and bringing  one closer to contemplation of self and of the world.This is the foundation of Rotner’s link to Bialik’s oeuvre. Bialik was the one who coined the Hebrew word for camera: matzlemah. The word is a conglomerate of several meaningful associations – tzelem (image), tzel (shadow) and mah (what?) are concealed in the word matzlemah. The word tzelem appears in Genesis in the text stating that the human was created in God’s image. This constitutes the axis around which generations of discussants argued about the relationship between the metaphysical and the physical in the human entity, and is often perceived as the point of origin for humanity’s 

 options to reach a spiritual plane of existence. The shadow (tzel), the zone that is not exposed to direct light, represents that which lurks, that persists, defining a place of refuge from heat and blinding light. In the visual arts, the shadow is closely connected to Pliny, the Roman philosopher who attributed the invention of painting to a young woman who traced the contour of the shadow cast on the wall by her beloved before he went to war, to preserve his memory. The contemplation of meaning embodied in the question “What?” (mah?) clings to the creative processes like a shadow.

שְׁחוֹר הַלַּיְלָה הוֹלֵךְ כּוֹבֵשׁ, The blackness of night conquers on and on,
מַרְכִּיב צֵל עַל-צֵל וְכוֹפֵל; Assembling shadow after shadow, doubling in size;

In writing about the blackness of night, Bialik speaks about the depth and intensity of the color and the sensation of external and internal night. Although the blacks and grays in Rotner’s photographs are from the depictions of concrete objects existing in the world, their magic lies in the depth of the concealed layers.

Text: Dr. Smadar Sheffi.

Sea of Silence 1-7, 2020, The Tree (Remanence Reminiscence), 2019




She Who Walks (white series) is an ongoing series since 2019. Works from the white series were exhibited in venues in Israel and abroad including CCA Tel-Aviv (2020), Noga Gallery, Tel Aviv (2021) and Galerie Chenel, Paris (2023).

Installation view ‘From Antiquities to Contemporary Art‘, Galerie Chenel, Paris



Looking at her Reflection was an online exhibition curated by Yana Rotner. The Exhibition took place on a specially designed website in May 2020 during the Covid-19 crisis. It consisted in works of established contemporary artists such as Liz Deschenes and Yehudit Sasportas as well as historical artists such as Berenice Abbot and Peter Roehr. The exhibition was accompanied by a variation around a text by Maurice Blanchot and a text by Liz Deschenes.

In the memory of Lucia Bose, corona virus victim, 1931-2020

As always,

I go back in time and, refer to how people were thinking about photography in the 1800's - Geoffrey Batchen in his book "Each Wild Idea" references a response by the American writer Nathaniel Willis in 1839 :

“…Talk not of 'holding the mirror up to nature, she will hold it up to herself. “

Fortunately, art historians like Geoffrey Batchen and Kaja Silverman quoted below from her book
" The Analogy of Photography " chronicle the ever - changing discipline of Photography, and have upended narrow views presented by both Willis and Baudelaire when Photography was at its beginnings.

As always,

“ Photography is also unstoppably developmental.

It began with the pinhole camera, which was more found than invented, morphed into the optical camera obscura, was reborn as chemical photography,

and lives on in a digital form.

It moves through time, in search of other “kin” some of which are visual, but others of which may be architectural, philosophical or literary. "




The feminine is a way of being which escapes light “

— Emmanuel Levinas

The mythical figure of the woman escaping light is Euridyce in the myth of Orpheus. In the myth, Orpheus goes to Hades, the kingdom of the dead, to retrieve the woman he loves, Euridyce, and to bring her back to life he has to hold her by the hand, climb back without ever turning back to look at her. And yet he does and loses her. Maurice Blanchot in his text, “ The gaze of Orpheus ”, poses the question:

What does Orpheus want?

“ Orpheus does not demand Euridyce in her diurnal truth and her everyday charm, but in her nocturnal darkness, in her distance, her body closed, her face sealed, ( he ) wants to see her not when she is visible but when she is invisible, and not as the intimacy of a familiar life, but as the strangeness of that which excludes all intimacy; ( he ) does not want to make her live, but to have the fullness of her death living in her.”

What does She - Orpheus want?

What does the myth of Orpheus teach us when we try to understand the nature of the look of a woman at her own reflection? what if Euridyce tries to bring herself back from the night?

According to Blanchot, Orpheus has only one concern: “ (...) to look into the night at what the night is concealing - the other night, concealment which becomes visible. ”

What is Eurydice ( she ) looking for in her reflection?  The hidden part of herself? The presence of her infinite absence? The return to the uncertainty of the origin?

Maybe, just maybe, photography in its fugitive capture of the space could give Eurydice a glimpse at the hidden part of herself.









The Darkness was an exhibition curated by Yana Rotner. The exhibition took place in the artist’s studio in May 2019, accompanied with a text by the philosopher and former MFA director at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Raphael Zagury-Orly. The exhibition consisted of works by Louise Bourgeois and Louise Lawler, as well as works by established and young Israeli artists. The exhibition closing event comprised live painting on black canvas by Narkis Vizel, red photograms by Yana Rotner and music by Noski (Yuval Jonas and Ron Auerbach).


Plato in the Myth of the Cave tells the tale of the perpetual strife for the philosopher to come out of the fleeting realm of images and opinions to gaze into the eternal light of the ideas. And when coming to the summit of the Cave, contemplating the plentiful revelation of meaning illuminating the essence of Being, Plato insists not on the appeasing and pacifying light but rather on the blindness which it causes. The philosopher, blinded by the light, sees only the night, more night, obscurity, more obscurity. As if philosophy, when revealing the light also needed to see the night, when unveiling meaning also required us to still perceive its inherent obscurity. 


Just like the philosopher, when creating, is blinded by the process and finds solace in the darkness. Why does darkness lie in the source of light? Why each time philosophy reveals meaning it discloses also its intimate obscurity? Why does light also show itself as the obscure? What says the obscure? The obscure light of each singular event?



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Yana Rotner Studio
20 De-Picciotto St. Tel-Aviv 6610120

Alon Segev Gallery
7 Hamanoa St. Tel-Aviv 6816831
Tel: +972 (0) 3 609 0769