In this groundbreaking book, a range of internationally renowned and emerging academics, writers, artists, curators, activists and filmmakers critically reflect on the ways in which visual culture has appropriated and developed new media across North Africa and the Middle East. Examining the opportunities presented by the real-time generation of new, relatively unregulated content online, Uncommon Grounds evaluates the prominent role that new media has come to play in artistic practices – and social movements – in the Arab world today. Analysing alternative forms of creating, broadcasting, publishing, distributing and consuming digital images, this book also enquires into a broader global concern: does new media offer a ‘democratisation’ of – and a productive engagement with – visual culture, or merely capitalise upon the effect of immediacy at the expense of depth?
Featuring full-colour artists’ inserts, this is the first book to extensively explore the degree to which the grassroots popularity of Twitter and Facebook has been co-opted into mainstream media, institutional and curatorial characterisations of ‘revolution’ – and whether artists should be wary of perpetuating the rhetoric and spectacle surrounding political events. In the process, Uncommon Grounds reveals how contemporary art practices actively negotiate present-day notions of community-based activism, artistic agency and political engagement.
Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in North Africa and the Middle East is Volume 01 in Ibraaz’s Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East Series. Volume 02, Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East, will be published in May 2015.
Sarah Abu Abdallah | Sophia Al-Maria | Fayçal Bahgriche | Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi | Wafaa Bilal | Sheyma Buali | Anthony Downey | Maymanah Farhat | Azin Feizabad | Ganzeer | Hans Haacke | Hamzamolnár | Timo Kaabi-Linke | Dina Kafafi | Amal Khalaf | Omar Kholeif | Tarek Khoury | Gulf Labor | Jens Maier-Rothe | Laura U. Marks | Dina Matar | Mosireen | Rabih Mroué | Nat Muller | Philip Rizk | Roy Samaha | Nermin Saybasili | Annabelle Sreberny | Tarzan and Arab | Derya Yücel | Maxa Zoller
This book collects new contributions from an international group of leading scholars – including many who have worked closely with Agamben – to consider the impact of Agamben’s thought on research in the humanities and social sciences. Giorgio Agamben: Legal, Political and Philosophical Perspectives addresses the potential of Agamben’s thought by re-focusing attention away from his critiques of Western politics and towards his scheme for a political future. Part I of the book draws upon a wide range of issues such as legal oaths, legal reasoning and Christian conceptions of love in order to examine the potential for Agamben’s work to impact upon future legal scholarship. Part II focuses on political perspectives that include references to Marx, Rousseau and Agamben’s conception of the ‘messianic’. Theology, biology, and the thought of Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin and Antonin Artaud are all drawn upon in Part III to explore philosophical perspectives in Agamben’s thought.
This book demonstrates the importance and originality of Giorgio Agamben, who has articulated a vision of politics that must be recognised as an influential contribution to modern philosophical and political thinking. It is a book that will be of considerable interest to many working across the humanities and social sciences.
This book is the first attempt to capture the new wave of art patronage in the near and Middle East. Profiling fifty leading collectors and patrons in the the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and North Africa, it goes behind closed doors to take a peek at their collections, and explore the motivation and passion behind their inspiring visions. A fantastically diverse range of collections are covered, stretching from contemporary and modern art to Orientalist painting, traditional Islamic miniatures to pottery and earthenware, regional maps and manuscripts to religious icons.
University of California Press, 2012 | CONTRIBUTOR
Ambitious and interdisciplinary, this long-awaited collaboration is a landmark presentation of the writings of contemporary artists. These influential essays, interviews, and critical and theoretical comments provide bold and fertile insights into the construction of visual knowledge. Featuring a wide range of leading and emerging artists since 1945, the collection – while comprehensive and authoritative – offers the reader some eclectic surprises as well. Included here are texts that have become pivotal documents in contemporary art, along with writings that cover unfamiliar ground. Some are newly translated, others have never before been published. Together they address visual literacy, cultural studies, and the theoretical debates regarding modernism and postmodernism. The full panoply of visual media is represented, from painting and sculpture to environments, installations, performance, conceptual art, video, photography, and virtual reality. Thematic concerns range from figuration and process to popular culture, art and technology, and politics and the media. Contemporary issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality are also addressed. Kristine Stiles’ general introduction is a succinct overview of artists’ theories in the evolution of contemporary discourse around art. Introductions to each chapter provide synopses of the cultural contexts in which the texts originated and brief biographies of individual artists. The text is augmented by outstanding photographs, many of artists in their studios, and vivid, contemporary art images. Reflecting the editors’ shared belief that artists’ own theories provide unparalleled access to visual knowledge, this book, like its distinguished predecessors, Hershel Chipp’s “Theories of Modern Art” (with Peter Selz and Joshua Taylor) and Joshua Taylor’s “Nineteenth-Century Theories of Art”, will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in contemporary art.
Updated and reorganized to offer the best collection of state-of-the-art readings on the role of critical theory in contemporary art, this second edition of Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985 brings together scholarly essays, artists’ statements, and art reproductions to capture the vibrancy and dissonance that define today’s art scene.
Incorporates new and updated topics that have become central to art theory and practice over the past decade
New and updated chapters cover such topics as: international biennials, historicizing of the term “contemporary art”, aesthetics, art and politics, feminism and pornography, ecology and art, the Middle East and conflict studies, Eastern European art and politics, gender and war, and technology
Features a thematic reconfiguration of sections and new introductions to make readings user–friendly
Extensively illustrated throughout with an expanded color-plate section
New contributions to this edition include those by Alexander Alberro, Claire Bishop, T.J. Demos, Anthony Downey, Liam Gillick, Marina Gr iniæ, Mary Kelly, Chantal Mouffe, Beatriz Preciado, Jacques Ranciere, Blake Stimson, and Chin-Tao Wu.
Long considered a bastion of creativity in the region, Iran is currently experiencing a remarkable artistic revival in the middle of the most challenging of circumstances. Different Sames catalogues this new movement, capturing its brilliance and creative energy. Packed with wonderful images, it is an important and lively compendium of thought provoking essays, historical context and profiles of the country’s leading contemporary artists. Art changes the way we look at the world, and Different Sames is an attempt to explain todays Iranian art movement in this spirit.
The Future of a Promise is the catalogue for the largest pan-Arab exhibition of contemporary art at the 54th Venice Biennale, published by Ibraaz. From Tunisia all the way to Saudi Arabia, this landmark exhibition curated by Lina Lazaar brought together more than 25 recent works and commissions by some of the foremost artists from the Arab world, including, Ziad Antar (Lebanon), Fayçal Baghriche (Algeria), Yto Barrada (France), Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Palestine), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon) as well as three Abraaj Capital Art Prize Winners, Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq), Kader Attia (France), and Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia).
The Future of a Promise examines how a promise opens up a horizon of future possibilities, be they aesthetic, political, historical, social or critical. With the events currently unfolding in the Middle East, the question of the future and the promise inherent within culture has assumed an even more acute degree of pertinence. The exhibition enquires into the promise of visual culture in an age that has become increasingly disaffected with politics as a means of social engagement. The artists included in The Future of a Promise seek to engage with a singular issue in the Middle East today: who gets to represent the present-day realities and the horizons to which they aspire?
The catalogue is edited by Ibraaz’s Editor Dr. Anthony Downey and Associate Editor Lina Lazaar and includes essays by the editors, Samir Kassir and Rachida Triki, and an interview with Muslim scholar Mohamed Talbi.
Changing attitudes to Islam profoundly influence political cultures and national identities, as well as policies regarding immigration, security and multiculturalism. Given that the majority of relevant scholarly works have either adopted monocultural perspectives, or approached Islam in its general, non nation-specific dimension, the need for in-depth, multi-nation studies is urgent. Islam itself, and responses to its rise, are becoming increasingly internationalised. It is therefore important that analyses of Islam-related phenomena are sensitive to the particular cultures in which they are encountered. This volume does precisely that. Contributions, some explicitly comparative, others implicitly so, cover perspectives from across Europe, the USA and the Middle East, along with new treatments of the rich diversity to be found in Islamic art, and discussions of inter-faith exchanges. They also represent a range of disciplinary approaches. Among the many issues addressed are: the challenges posed by the rise of Muslim radicalism to multicultural societies; various media treatments of the War on Terror ; the national specificities of Islamophobic xenophobia; contemporary visual arts in Islamic societies; differing attitudes to the translation of religious texts. The authors include authoritative, international experts, balanced by promising, younger scholars.
Chapter authored:The Burden of Representation: Contemporary Visual Arts in the Middle East.
To purchase a copy of Islam in its International Context: Comparative Perspectives please follow this link.
‘Conspiracy Dwellings: Surveillance in Contemporary Art’ brings together nine illustrated essays of theorists and art practitioners about artworks made in the midst of conflict or from the position of commentary and critique in topics that span from the 70s to the present day. The contributors Anthony Downey, Christine Eyene, Liam Kelly, Verena Kyselka, Robert Knifton, Outi Remes, Maciej Ozog, Paula Roush, Matthew Shaul and Pam Skelton consider the practical and theoretical status of surveillance from a variety of positions that include surveillance and its impact on urban space, architecture, citizenship and civil liberties. These essays also provide the opportunity to consider artworks that address conflict and resistance as a lived experience alongside strategies of counter-surveillance that propose new spectatorial positions, individual empowerment and entertainment. Today, in post 9/11 times of economic difficulties, political uncertainty and suspicion, the subject of patriotism, freedom and democratic rights are once again high on the agenda, raising questions such as where do we draw the line – how far does surveillance have to go before it worries us – and at what point is the citizen regarded as a threat to the state?
To purchase a copy of Conspiracy Dwellings: Surveillance in Contemporary Art please follow this link.
Downey, Anthony. “The Lives of Others: Artur Zmijewski’s Repetition, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and the Ethics of Surveillance.” Conspiracy Dwellings: Surveillance in Contemporary Art. Ed. Outi Remes and Pam Skelton. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2010. 67-82.
Art and Authenticity explores a range of questions around the ideas of authenticity, originality and replication in art. The authors move far beyond the fundamental question of ‘Is it genuine?’ to themes and definitions surrounding authenticity as a concept operating across different periods and contexts. The chapters consider empirical aspects of art analysis but also more conceptual and theoretical understandings of authenticity. For example, is there such a thing as authentic presentation and display of artworks? Can the idea of authenticity be applied to subject-matter and style? How do the art market and the art world respond to the perceived authenticity of artworks? This book addresses a wide range of topics within the arts and will appeal to a broad readership, from students and art specialists to art-world enthusiasts. Historically, the idea of scientific verification has arisen as a reaction against the perceived excesses of the connoisseurial tradition, a tradition which has fallen from favour over the last 50 years. The idea of individual ‘expert knowledge’ rests uneasily in the current climate. However, recent attempts by experts to develop definitive scientific methods for authenticating artworks are also proving to be problematic. Connoisseurship, it will be argued, still has its role to play within these debates. Therefore, through the broad range of artworks and perspectives developed within this volume, the book suggests that although the concept of authenticity is not without validity or usefulness, it nonetheless poses a continually moving target within the frameworks of varied cultural and historical constructs. The authors challenge a narrow interpretation of ‘authenticity’ as a concept applied to the art world, for the issues surrounding authenticity are rarely black and white.