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Civic Aesthetics : Militarism, Israeli Art and Visual Culture (Paperback) (Noa Roei)
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Exploring the politics of the image in the context of Israeli militarized visual cultureCivic Aesthetics examines both the omnipresence of militarism in Israeli culture and society, and the way in which this omnipresence is articulated, enhanced, and contested within local contemporary visual art. Looking at contemporary art through the lens of “civilian militarism”, Roei demonstrates that art is a valuable partner in the making of critical discourse. Analyzing a range of contemporary artworks with the help of cutting-edge theory, it touches on various fields, including memory studies, gender studies, landscape theory, and aesthetics, to explore the potential of visual art to translate military excessiveness to its viewers.
This study discusses the complexities of visuality, the visible and non-visible, arguing for art's capacity to expose the scopic regimes that construct their visibility. Images and artworks are often read either out of context, on purely aesthetic or art-historical ground, or as cultural artifacts whose aesthetics play a minor role in their significance. This book breaks with this tradition as it approaches all art, both high and popular art, as part of the surrounding visual culture in which it is created and presented. This innovative approach builds on the specific sociological concerns of the chosen cases to allow a new theory of the image to come forth, where the relation between the political and the aesthetic is one of exchange, rather than exclusion.