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Title: Performing identities : visual art and musical performances by Palestinian artists in exile
Author: Marshy, M. C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines how works of visual art, musical performances, and exhibition contexts shape discourses of identity and enact belongings. Both art and identity are constituted through institutional, transnational, transcultural, aesthetic, bodily, discursive and social processes. Individual subjectivities are given language, bodily expression, validation, and social force through artistic expression. Understanding aesthetic ‘languages’ and processes of art provides insight into the dislocation of subjects and their enactments of identity and belonging in the context of contested collective narratives and disrupted languages of signification. Dispossessed of their ancestral homes and land, and dispersed throughout the world, Palestinians are removed from the historical places of memory that are central to the Palestinian national narrative. This dissertation examines works of art and performance by selected Palestinian artists living in the West (five in Canada, one in the United States, and one in England). I argue that the seven artists’ works of visual art and musical performance reflect, shape and enact memory, Palestinian national narratives, cultural politics, postmemory, subjectivities and belongings. The artists reflect a wide range of diaspora experiences and negotiations, and the study provides insight into ways in which individuals and communities regenerate, recreate, and re-member themselves out-of-place. I also examine processes of exhibition, media representation, and cultural politics of a national museum exhibit in Canada, entitled The Lands Within Me: Artistic Expressions by Canadian Artists of Arab Origin as a means of better understanding ways that institutional and representational contexts signify identities of art, artists, and audiences. The study demonstrates that art articulates as much with aesthetic styles and vocabularies as with transnational, transcultural, and historical forces. I argue that the works, performances, and exhibition processes enact identities and relations of power, and that at stake are boundaries of identity, as well as the geopolitics of multiculturalism and international relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available