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Open Access 1 Sites and Senses

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1 Sites and Senses

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Chapter Summary

In April 1996, Mona Hatoum, a British artist of Palestinian origin, installed a work entitled Present Tense at the Anadiel Gallery in East Jerusalem, an area annexed by Israel in 1967. Present Tense was originally a site-specific sculpture as the work was made specifically for that exhibition in Jerusalem and was an immediate response to the site. By inscribing the map of the Oslo Accords on a local traditional product, Hatoum investigated the political, social and cultural dynamics at play within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Drawing only the Palestinian territories in Israel on the soap, Hatoum focused on the Palestinian situation within the conflict. The context of the city of Jerusalem affected the meaning of the artwork, enhancing the political dimension. Jerusalem was and remains the core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it is claimed by both parties to be the capital of their states.

Keywords: Anadiel Gallery; East Jerusalem; Mona Hatoum; Oslo Accords; Palestinian territories; Present Tense



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