Accepted Paper:

Resounding conflicts  


Tom Tlalim (Goldsmiths University of London)

Paper short abstract:

Artistic appropriation of Israel / Palestine conflicts by collecting and appropriating sound recordings. In the wake of the protracted mediatisation of war, these co-authored artistic accounts are comparable with political campaigns. Art works by Kerbaj and Dreyfus are analysed.

Paper long abstract:

Artists have recently participated in the framing of political events by collecting and appropriating documentary materials in the field in manners which converse with ethnography. But the reflexive-observatory position reserved for social researchers is often transgressed by artists, who engage with participatory authorship and projective forms of auto-ethnography. Independent artists who converse with different institution than the academic ones, do not have to justify positivist notions of the 'real'. In the wake of the recent mediatisation of politics and war, such co-authored artistic accounts become comparable with political campaigns and influence real political projects with qualitative artistic intervention.

My paper analyses cases of artistic appropriation of conflicts in Israel / Palestine, where affective experience is prioritised. It asks the question whether conflict can be researched in-and-through art? In the cases analysed artistic appropriation of 'real' events produces affective works where listeners are invited to be implicated in the scene, particularly through sound. The cases presented will be "Starry Night - a minimalistic improvisation by Mazen Kerbaj/Trumpet, the Israeli Government/Bombs" - a 'musical ambush' which challenges the sonic authority of the IDF during its bombing of Beirut in 2006, and Smadar Dreyfus' "Mother's Day", where the artist recorded voices of students and their mothers calling each other from the two sides of the Israel-Syria ceasefire lines. This work uses these recordings to produce a sound installation which explores separation and borders through the affect of the voice.

Panel W075
The visual in times of uncertainty: experience lived/experience recorded