9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN02 Sociology of the Arts

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Arts and Urban Space Building II, C6.10

The Socio-Artistic Configuration of StreetArt in Israel

This paper presents an ongoing study concerning Streetart in Israel after the year two thousand. Graffiti - as either images or lettering, scratched, scrawled, painted or marked - has existed in Israel for a long time. It has usually appeared as a response to social circumstances and has been characterized by being spontaneous, performed in restricted areas and as a result of specific political situations. Such was the case of the massive graffiti making after the assassination of Prime Minister Ytzhak Rabin, when one of the outside walls of Tel Aviv City Hall, next to the place he was killed at, became the "canvas" of graffiti inscriptions.

Since the onset of the year 2000, Streetart in Israel has been slowly emerging as a new form of visual expression. That is the case of the Israeli West Bank barrier that has become a site for graffiti. Streetart in Israel reminds us the artistic practice carried out in other societies, like the materials used, the keeping of artists' identity secret or the debate about the commercialization of the artistic form.

Through an analysis of the social-artistic characteristics, such as the sources of the Israeli artistic practice, the claims made by both individual artists and artistic collectives, the present study will make it possible to reveal the particularities of this new Israeli artistic form.