Special Issue "Radicant Patterns in Israeli Art"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).
Interests: art history; moving image art; video art; experimental cinema; new media art; migratory aesthetics; neuroaesthetics; art–science interfaces
In an age of the global movement of people, where geographical rooting is becoming tenuous, mobility is gaining greater attention as an existential condition that profoundly affects contemporary art. With Mieke Bal’s pioneering concept of migratory aesthetics (2007), a growing literature is currently meeting the challenge of conceptualizing the global shift that compels movement and breeds displaced existences. Saloni Mathur (2011) and Anne Ring Petersen (2017) have recently challenged art history to reckon with the mobility of artists as a foundational shift that "make[s] traditional notions of location, origin and authenticity seem obsolete and in urgent need of reconsideration" (Petersen 2017 88).
This Special Issue of Arts rests on the proposition that Israeli art presents a unique inflection of the global condition of mobility. Perhaps the most productive concept with which to approach Israeli art and artists is Nicolas Bourriaud's (2010) botanical metaphor of the radicant, which branches further into radicant art and radicant aesthetics. Designating the current cultural age as "altermodern", Bourriaud conceptualizes the subjects of altermodernity through the botanical differentiation between radical and radicant patterns of rooting. Whereas radical plants depend on a central root, deep-seated in a single locus of nourishing soil, "radicant" designates "an organism that grows its roots and adds new ones as it advances" (Bourriaud 2010, 22). Radicantity, as inflected by Bourriaud’s translators, thus implies "a multitude of simultaneous or successive enrootings" (22). Conceiving of Israeli art as essentially and foundationally radicant enables a nuanced look at its complex and troubled negotiations of belonging and "unbelonging" (Rogoff 2000), migration and homecoming, and the precariousness of ground and place.
Most subjects of Israeli identity reside in a circuit, in Bourriaud's terms, regardless of whether the migratory circuit has been experienced first-hand or historically inherited. The itineraries of migration involved in the formation of Israeli subject positions are urgently contemporary and at the same time reach several generations back, always revolving around historical centers of the Jewish diaspora. Curiously, the Wandering Jew might be regarded as the archetypal radicant, predating Bourriaud’s altermodernity by a couple of millennia.
Albeit ridden by conflicts and disputed from within and without, the shared ethos of homecoming, the notion of return to the land of origin from a bi-millennial diaspora, remains a unique factor undergirding Israeli radicantity. At the same time, the emergence of contemporary Israeli hubs worldwide—Berlin and New York being major examples—stresses the multi-directional flow of movement around the perceived place of origin. In addition, the patchwork composition of the Israeli art scene, as of Israeli society at large, consists of various identities under negotiation: Russian and former USSR, Ethiopian, French, and several other first- and second-generation immigrant groups; 1950s refugees from Muslim countries and their offspring; and first-, second-, and third-generation Holocaust survivors of European origin, constitute a partial list. Druse, Circassian, Bedouin, and Arab/Palestinian sectors negotiate Israeli-ness through prisms of social marginalization, ethnic Otherness, and political conflict, further underscoring radicant aspects of Israeli art and culture.
This issue seeks international contributions that approach Israeli art from the critical perspective outlined above, preferably interfacing the political with the aesthetic. Contributions are not limited to discussion of art produced in Israel, or by artists currently residing in Israel. Rather, this special issue of Arts proposes to attend to patterns of movement and homing, belonging and unbelonging, and to migratory/radicant themes in Israel-related contexts; contributions might address inter-generational reverberations of the "radicant condition"; Israeli artists’ hubs worldwide; and negotiations of Israeli-ness in various contexts. International proposals with other focal interests within this frame of inquiry are welcome.
Please send 150-word abstracts and a short bio to Dr. Hava Aldouby ([email protected]) by 30 March 2019.
Bal, Mieke, "Lost in Space, Lost in the Library," in Essays in Migratory Aesthetics: Cultural Practices Between Migration and Art-making, eds. Sam Durrant and Catherine M. Lord (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007), 23–36.
Bourriaud, Nicolas, The Radicant, trans. James Gussen and Lili Porten (New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2010).
Mathur, Saloni, ed., The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2011).
Petersen, Anne Ring, Migration into Art; Transcultural Identities and Art-making in a Globalised World (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017).
Rogoff, Irit, Terra Infirma; Georaphy’s Visual Culture (London: Routledge, 2000).
Dr. Hava Aldouby
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Israeli art
- migration or immigration
- migratory aesthetics
- radicant aesthetics