Veiling, Representation, and Contemporary ArtBook - 2003
Published to coincide with an Institute of International Visual Arts exhibition, a study of the historical, cultural, and artistic significance of the veil features commissioned essays and a range of excerpts from classical historical texts.
Essays and artworks exploring the representation and meaning of the veil incontemporary visual culture.
No single item of clothing has had greater influence on Western images of MiddleEastern and North African women than the veil. The fascination of Western writers, artists, andphotographers with the veil reflects the voyeuristic nature of our interest in what is strange and"other."Veil, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the Institute of International VisualArts in London, explores the representation of the veil in contemporary visual arts. Providing acontext for the commissioned essays are a number of classical historical texts crossing religions,cultures, genders, and ages -- from Greek myths to articles published in the aftermath of September11, 2001. Some of the contemporary artists and scholars write autobiographically about the meaningof the veil in their lives. Others take a more political approach, discussing, for example, how theevents of September 11 changed the use and reception of veil imagery throughout the world. Stillothers take a historical approach, examining how nineteenth-century technological developments intravel and photography led to photographic depictions of both the veiled and unveiled body inrelation to landscape. A number of essays look at the art historical precedents for the currentinterest in artwork addressing the veil, while others examine how codes of modesty and gendersegregation have affected the making and viewing of films in postrevolutionary Iran.The essays areby Jananne Al-Ani, David A. Bailey, Alison Donnell, Ghazel, Salah Hassan, Reina Lewis, Hamid Naficy,Zineb Sedira, and Gilane Tawadros. The artists represented include Faisal Abdu'Allah, Kourosh Adim,Ghada Amer, Jananne Al-Ani, Farah Bajull, Samta Benyahia, Gaë´¡n de Clé²¡mbault, MarcGaranger, Shadafarin Ghadirian, Group AES, Emily Jacir, Ramesh Kalkur, Shirin Neshat, Harold Offeh,Gillo Pontecorvo, Zineb Sedira, Mitra Tabrizian, and Elin Strand.