9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN02 Sociology of the Arts

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Arts and Collective Memory Building II, C6.07

Memorials and Counter-memorials: Gender, Motherhood and Art in the Israel Contemporary Art

The memorials perceived as the heart of sculpture in Israel until the 80's were a homologous field in examining the male hegemony both in the field of art and in the national field. The fact that women are so scarce, both as an image and as creators of memorials, was explained based on their place in the national order of priorities. Towards the end of the 90's, a new, challenging, perception of motherhood cracks and unravels traditional feminine roles in the national order, as well as representing this conception publicly both in art and in direct political action From that time the activity of organizations such as Women in Black, Four Mothers, and Shuvi expressed (beyond the different political positions) the feminine maternal claim wishing to make itself present and voice different opinions regarding questions of security and the military "which women do not understand"? These organizations, especially Four Mothers and Shuvi, like Female Artists as Yehudit Matzkel, spoke as "the soldier's mother", that is - within the national order of priorities they wish to take back that which has been taken away from them: the own soldier, the own son, who should be potentially a dead soldier. The theme of trauma and anticipation of trauma fed the work of Yehudit Matzkel Drora Domini, as well as that of artists such as Arianne Litman-Cohen and Rachel Giladi which I will examine during the lecture. Together they draw a new art perspective as well as they deal with the question about the place of women (from the maternal position) in the discourse of memorials in Israel . This perspective will serve me in the presentation and analysis of the works, and through it I shall try to characterize the voice and modes of action of women artists in the bereavement and memorialization discourse. According with the concept of "counter-memory" this art's corpus could be understood as a kind of "counter-memorials", a strategy of resistance and dissidence.