[-empyre-] Response to Dale Post

Dale Hudson dmh2018 at nyu.edu
Thu Feb 6 19:26:40 AEDT 2020

Thanks, Sean, for the link to your book — and your new article, which I haven’t yer read and now see that I must! 

I really appreciate ways that Saudi artists work within certain constraints yet also work around others. I’ve also been fascinated by how some of the work translates to foreigners whereas other work translates less widely. 

In my class, I’ve asked students to think about different Telfaz11 videos, such as "No Woman, No Drive” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZMbTFNp4wI), and “Screw Infidels” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgbJGn4cH-M&t=43s). It’s remarkable how much more accessible and comprehensible the former is.

Curious what others think?


> On Feb 5, 2020, at 19:44, Sean Foley <foleymtsu at gmail.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dale:
> Thank you for your response! Those are all good but complicated questions – ones that I deal with in a recent book https://www.rienner.com/title/Changing_Saudi_Arabia_Art_Culture_and_Society_in_the_Kingdom <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.rienner.com_title_Changing-5FSaudi-5FArabia-5FArt-5FCulture-5Fand-5FSociety-5Fin-5Fthe-5FKingdom&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=qcTmJUObF8XYm8yI7VhbJrDrNIg8UQyscq1gBMIIbxk&m=QRwoQuTXTN5-wQHGwF2DfiH1RM2Sb4u5_ExyGZOcJ0E&s=b6maL0QXhe6nFPrKfIDUE23Eyn-OvSBetioN46LfJBs&e=>
> and my late 2019 article in ROMES – https://doi.org/10.1017/rms.2019.43 <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__doi.org_10.1017_rms.2019.43&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=qcTmJUObF8XYm8yI7VhbJrDrNIg8UQyscq1gBMIIbxk&m=QRwoQuTXTN5-wQHGwF2DfiH1RM2Sb4u5_ExyGZOcJ0E&s=TNHcj_Bj1OZFtKjTGFQpBgOlm3651fqa-DX8MBSaW74&e=>.
> Gharem and his colleagues have been successful in part because they use two key mechanisms. First, they understand that visual images (and even film, etc) provide one with opportunities to speak to multiple audiences and speak on a variety of topics at once. “Visually,” Gharem once observed, “you can say it because no one can accuse you with an image.” By contrast, “if you are going to write or text or say something, it’s easy to accuse you.”  Second, Gharem and others also use collage, humor, and other forms of communication that voice multiple – even contradictory messages – at once. Images allow the audience to, in the words of a Saudi art critic, to read into art “work what they want…, to have their own take, so to speak.”  Media companies like Telfaz11 have in particular utilized humor—a context that often involves multiple viewpoints and which is not supposed to be taken seriously by definition (“that’s just a joke, right?”) – to discuss some of the most sensitive topics in the Kingdom. This is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgbJGn4cH-M <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_watch-3Fv-3DGgbJGn4cH-2DM&d=DwMFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=qcTmJUObF8XYm8yI7VhbJrDrNIg8UQyscq1gBMIIbxk&m=QRwoQuTXTN5-wQHGwF2DfiH1RM2Sb4u5_ExyGZOcJ0E&s=Z3hr80zQNZwNU64N-2ci9hVjWFX6_DnoIqC3hMgfvWo&e=> of a work that deals with a serious topic which has been interpreted in vastly different ways.
> Best,
> Sean 
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