TUFTS UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY
Empire and Its Discontents
Edited by Jeanne V. Koles. Text by Amy I. Schlegel, Rhonda Saad.
Conceived as a tribute to the influential post-colonial theorist Edward Said (1935-2003) on the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of his watershed book Orientalism (1978), Empire and Its Discontents applies Said's groundbreaking theories to contemporary art. This volume examines the work of 10 contemporary artists--Kamrooz Aram, Andisheh Avini, Lara Baladi, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Farhad Moshiri & Shirin Aliabadi, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung, Marjane Satrapi, Seher Shah, Mark Shetabi and Saira Wasim--through the lens of Said's concept of Orientalism. In various ways, the artists reflect on the ethical dimension of representation in a contemporary global context, integrating the rigid binary oppositions introduced by Said three decades ago--Self/Other, East/West, Orient/Occident--into a complex field of visual and cultural representation greatly impacted by digital technology, mass media and popular culture. This critical look at the burgeoning contemporary Arab art scene is published concurrently with an exhibition at the Tufts University Art Gallery.