Posthumous Images Contemporary Art and Memory Politics in Post–Civil War Lebanon

Chad Elias

For almost two decades of its history (1975-1990), Lebanon was besieged by sectarian fighting, foreign invasions, and complicated proxy wars. In Posthumous Images, Chad Elias analyzes a generation of contemporary artists who have sought, in different ways, to interrogate the contested memory of those years of civil strife and political upheaval. In their films, photography, architectural projects, and multi-media performances, these artists appropriate existing images to challenge divisive and violent political discourses. They also create new images that make visible individuals and communities that have been effectively silenced, rendered invisible, or denied political representation. As Elias demonstrates, these practices serve to productively unsettle the distinctions between past and present, the dead and the living, official history and popular memory. In Lebanon, the field of contemporary art is shown to be critical to remembering the past and reimagining the future in a nation haunted by a violent and unresolved war.

Elias cover front

NEW - 2018

  • $25.95 paper, 978-0-8223-4766-8
  • $99.95 cloth, 978-0-8223-4710-1
  • 288 pages
  • 71 color illustrations

Table of Contents

about the author

Chad Elias is assistant professor of art history at Dartmouth College. Chad's research focuses on contemporary art practices and visual cultures of the Middle East. A graduate of Northwestern University and the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program, Chad's scholarship also engages with art historical debates on the aesthetics of protest, the activation of public space, the politics of representation and the legacies of institutional critique.

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