Cruel images epitomize degradation of sorts. In one way, images that represent politically degraded subjects in turn get materially degraded via passage and mediation, and degrade the subject further by virtue of being seen, scrutinized, or passed over. Toukan’s postdoctorate departs from practice-based research on cruel images. Her methodology 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 via the dialectics of montage. In this talk, Toukan will explore the concept of Touring cruel images to consider distance, proximity, and locality in times of war. The work weaves Mohammad Malas’ Quneitra 74 and Susan Sontag’s Promised Lands, among other prompts, to consider disaster tourism through the essay-as-form.
Reluctant Strides: On Camera Tours the Day after Calamity
Oraib Toukan (EUME Fellow 2019/20), Chair: Banu Karaca (EUME Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation 2019/20)
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin
Oraib Toukan is an artist and currently EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregional Studien in Berlin. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts from Oxford University, Ruskin School of Art. Until fall 2015, she was head of the Arts Division and Media Studies program at Bard College at Al Quds University, Palestine and was visiting faculty at the International Academy of Fine Arts in Ramallah. Between 2015 and 2017 she taught at the Ruskin School of Art’s University of Oxford Graduate Teaching program. In autumn 2018 she was Mercator fellow at the Cultures of Critique program at Leuphana University, Lüneburg. Toukan is author of Sundry Modernism: Materials for a Study of Palestinian Modernism (Sternberg Press, 2017), and the essay-film When Things Occur (2016). Recent exhibitions include the the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Mori Art Museum, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Qalandia International, The Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow, and the 11th Istanbul Biennial. Toukan’s current research addresses “cruel images” and the question of how to treat them as both object and subject through artistic practice. Her writings have appeared in a number of publications, collected works, and biennale readers. Since 2011 she has been analysing and remaking works from a found collection of film reels that once-belonged to now-dissolved Soviet cultural centers in Jordan in 1990-1991.