Palestinian artists use documentary tactics to sustain and subvert – ArtAsiaPacific

PALESTINIAN CONTEMPORARY ART AND ARTISTS

Documentary filmmakers often insist on maintaining a distance between themselves and their subject. ArtAsiaPacific states that “this hardly exists in the case of Palestinian artists making work about Palestine’s history and present condition,” despite their prolific use of the medium.

Emily Jacir's text-and-photo piece "Where We Come From" (2001 to 2003). As winner of the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize, Jacir's work was on display at the Guggenheim in New York from 6 February to 15 April 2009.

Emily Jacir's text-and-photo piece "Where We Come From" (2001 to 2003). As winner of the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize, Jacir's work was on display at the Guggenheim in New York from 6 February to 15 April 2009.

According to the feature, published in 2011 in ArtAsiaPacific‘s 74th issue, artists of Palestinian descent have been using “documentary-based techniques” and “socially proactive” performance art since the late 1990s.

The utilisation of documentary-based techniques by Palestinian artists over the past decade has not only provided crucial testimony of social conditions in the Occupied Territories but also has been used increasingly to capture specific acts of resistance and to furnish conceptual models of alternative pasts, presents and futures.

Click here to read the article, called “No Occupation Without Representation: Artists in Palestine”, in its entirety on the ArtAsiaPacific website.

Yazan Khalili's '20" | f 18', part of a 2011 photographic series called "Landscapes of Darkness".

Yazan Khalili's '20" | f 18', part of a 2011 photographic series called "Landscapes of Darkness".

In its exploration of the development of contemporary Palestinian art, or at least this facet of it, the article identifies a number of key areas of concern for the region’s artists, shows how intimately linked these artists are with the political and social conditions in the Occupied Territories and how their artworks and projects are often acts of defiance against the “impositions of the occupation on Palestinian society” or attempts to preserve still remembered, but rapidly fading cultural histories. Artist and artist groups discussed include Emily Jacir, Yazan Khalili, Khaled Hourani, Decolonizing Architecture Institute (DAI), Jumana Emil Abboud and Khalil Rabah.

KN/HH

Related Topics: Palestinian artists, political art, documentary

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