Gannit Ankori (Author)
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DescriptionThis book offers an unprecedented and original overview of the history and development of Palestinian art. Experiences of trauma, loss and dispersal have had a profound impact on the lives of Palestinians for many decades. Despite the turmoil, Palestinian artists have continued to create powerful works of art that reflect and transcend contemporary realities even as they tap into the rich and layered sources of Palestinian heritage. They produce distinct and diverse works of art that dismantle the East-West dichotomy, reconfigure national identity and generate an alternative 'Third Space' of creativity. Based on almost two decades of intensive research, countless studio visits and numerous interviews, the author examines the oeuvre of contemporary Palestinian artists both prominent and lesser-known, working in the Palestinian territories, in Israel and in exile. She provides detailed interpretations of the meaning and significance of works of art, as well as a thorough analysis of the complex historical, geographical, political and cultural contexts within which they were created. The book navigates between the personal and biographical dimensions of specific artworks and the collective identity components embedded within them. Questions of gender, exile, colonialism, nationalism, post-colonialism, Orientalism and what Ankori calls 'Dis-Orientalism' are integral to the author's investigation. She also probes the influence and thematic dominance of issues such as rootedness, displacement, fragmentation and hybridity in contemporary Palestinian art. "Palestinian Art" is a fascinating introduction to a little-known visual culture often subsumed under the torrent of political turmoil. A groundbreaking and essential work of art scholarship, it illuminates new and unique facets of Palestinian cultural identity.
1 October 2005
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