Featured weekly article: Anticipatory Representation: Building the Palestinian Nation(-State) through Artistic Performance

Anticipatory Representation: Building the Palestinian Nation(-State) through Artistic Performance

By Chiara De Cesari

Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 82-100

 

Abstract

This article aims to illuminate the ways in which artists and cultural producers can participate in forging the nation(-state) by performing its institutions, and by mocking its operations. It explores two experiments in setting up a Palestinian national museum, which are also art projects in themselves. It also discusses the recent Palestinian art biennials, organised by a Palestinian non-governmental organisation in 2007 and 2009 in various locations across the Mediterranean. It is my argument that the experiments with the Palestinian national museum and the biennials constitute a kind of artistic practice that does not just represent or imitate the social world: they are artistic practices that purport to produce new social arrangements – in particular, a set of new ‘state’ (art and cultural) institutions under conditions of statelessness. I also discuss how such a tactic of anticipatory representation, which calls into being, by representing them beforehand, institutions that do not yet (fully) exist, bears resemblance with recent policies adopted by the Palestinian political establishment.

 

Read the full article here.

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