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Title: Two seconds, one frame
Author: Toukan, Oraib
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 0875
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This practice-led research explores what I have come to term 'cruel images', and how to treat them as object and subject through the making of art. Cruel images imply a degradation of sorts: images that represent politically degraded subjects in turn get materially degraded through mediation and passage from one medium or file type to another, which degrade the subject further by virtue of being seen, or passed over. The methodology of this research lies in handling and re-editing found archival materials in post-production, whereby knowledge is produced through an extreme closeness to the materiality of an image and the dialectics of montage. The thesis explores the notion of cruel images, in their various angles, forms, and conditions, with the aim of contributing knowledge at the threshold of looking at, or looking away from, images of violence, taking writers and image-makers of colonized contexts, such as Palestine, as historic cases in point. My quest to critically explore the critical and material grounds of the cruel image was prompted by a single shot excavated from a found obsolete Soviet film collection of hundreds of film reels in Jordan. It was a two-second shot that the Palestinian photographer and cinematographer Hani Jawharieh filmed during the aftermath of the 1967 war with Israel. The image served as a foil for analysing questions around images of violence at large, by way of handling digitized materials to question whether watching, analysing, and disseminating the archival image of the dead can help us to understand the contemporary condition of sharing, handling, and reacting to the "immaterial" image of violence today. The writing and practice components of this project inform each other. The rhythm of the writings take inspiration from the rich lexicon of the Arabic word natq-which means to utter; to speak, to pronounce, to use one's voice when one otherwise couldn't. The practice component, meanwhile, is a series of film works that aim to treat the afterlife of cruel images.
Supervisor: Martin, Daria ; Gardner, Anthony Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available