Art About Elsewhere: On the Cultural Politics of Representing Israel & Palestine
My thesis explores the meaning and implications of outsiders making art about their encounters with Israel and Palestine. I focus on the following three works: Ici et Ailleurs/ Here and Elsewhere (1976), a film by Jean Luc-Godard; Green Line (2004), an art performance by Francis Alÿs; and Desert Bloom (2015), a series of landscape-aerial photographs by Fazal Sheikh. The gesture of making art based in polemic, geographic sites challenges our understanding of seeing, knowing, and imagining our transnational, globalized network society. Amid the simulacra and noise of information and imagery, these works continue to question the meaning of borders, identity, memory, and perception through their media. Juxtaposed together, these works also create a virtual reality out of the phenomenon of Israel and Palestine based, not in the traditional, modernist understanding of time and space, but rather, in its persistence of memory and controversy.
My gallery installation consists of photos I took in the summers of 2014 and 2015 in Israel and the West Bank (Palestine), depicting what I found there and what can cross through the region’s borders.
Sector B: Art and Culture of Seeing
Advisors: Timothy Corrigan (CINE/ENGL) | Nancy Davenport (FNAR) | Aaron Levy (ENGL)