Balancing Acts: Performing Nationalism and Other Scripts
How are nationalism, resistance and conflict performed in artistic practices? What societal and institutional pressures affect artists working in this context and how does this influence their work? Lina Khatib, Sandra Noeth, Larissa Sansour and Nat Muller discuss.
Lina Khatib head of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme at Chatham House. Formerly she was the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut and the co-founding head of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.
Sandra Noeth is a curator, researcher and writer and internationally active in education contexts (a.o. senior lecturer at DOCH-Stockholm University of the Arts, resident professor at ashkal alwan HWP program 2015-16). Her artistic-theoretical research and publication projects focus on the role, status and agency of the human body in bordering processes, aesthetic experience and representation of structural violence as well as non-Western movement practices and cultures.
Larissa Sansour was born in East Jerusalem, Palestine and now lives and works in London. Her work is interdisciplinary, utilising video, photography, sculpture and installation. She describes the central theme of her work as exploring ‘the tug and pull of fiction and reality in a Middle-Eastern context’, and has recently used both science fiction and comic books to explore this. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, France; the Istanbul Biennial; Sharjah, UAE; and the Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark.
Nat Muller is the curator of Pattern Recognition: The Young Artist of the Year Award 2016. Her writing has been published internationally and she has written numerous catalogue and monographic essays on artists from the Middle East. She has curated exhibitions and other projects, as well as video and film screenings for festivals including Rotterdam’s International Film Festival, Norwegian Short Film Festival and Video D.U.M.B.O. In 2015 she was Associate Curator for the Delfina Foundation’s Politics of Food Program in London. Nat is contributing editor at Ibraaz.
© Image: Detail from Haphazard Synchronizations, 2016. Majd Masri.