AMCA Sponsored Panel at MESA, November 21-24, 2015
([P4180] As Images Move: Circulation, Appropriation, and Transformation in Contemporary Visual Production
Monday, 11/23/15 5:00pm
As Images Move: Circulation, Appropriation, and Transformation in Contemporary Visual Production
This panel considers the circulation of images that capture moments of conflict and contestation but also the image itself as a site of contestation. The process of circulation is one of constant transformation, a process that is mediated through networks of power and dominant discursive frameworks—including political regimes, mass media and global capital—and resistance to them. We are interested in tracing the travel routes of some of these images, identifying the circuits and axes that are formed regionally and transnationally.
Each of the case studies on this panel points to a moment of political sensitivity during which the seeming authority of certain images comes into question. In their new local(es) these images are reappropriated and imbued with different meanings, sometimes negating, undoing, and undermining the original, and highlighting existing political and aesthetic tensions. Egyptian artist Hassan Khan’s project Trusted Sources, produced in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution, is a nod to the informal circulation of images, a process that binds the individual to the collective, rejecting the Freudian ego in favor of the more collective nafs. Similarly, we see a shift in how images of resistance circulate in Palestine, from images being captured by an individual in order to represent the collective, to a self-representation embodied on behalf of collectivities. This authorial claim over the circulation of images is a recurrent concern for practitioners in the region. Through their work, Iraqi artists Abdel Karim Khalil and Sadik Kwaish Alfraji reroute the narrative flow of images of Abu Gharib, bypassing the torturer and focusing instead on the overlooked tortured. By contrast, we witness transformation as deformation in the context of an unfolding counterrevolution. Sliman Mansour’s iconic image of the porter stoically bearing the burden of the exile’s imagined homeland is manipulated into the delusions of a military regime.
Association for Modern & Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran & Turkey
Chair/Discussant: Sarah-Neel Smith, Maryland Inst Col of Art
Tammer El Sheikh, Concordia U– Psychoanalysis and the Social Life of Dreams in Hassan Khanʼs Trusted Sources
Haytham Bahoora, U Colorado Boulder–Art after Abu Ghraib: Spectacle and Medium in the Fashioning of Iraqi War Art
Dina A. Ramadan, Bard Col–The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back