|Title||In and out of the box: Bashir Makhoul’s Forbidden City|
Bashir Makhoul’s Beijing installation Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost is a maze made out of lenticular images of a Palestinian village that leads to a stack of cardboard boxes that could be a town, a military training camp, or just a heap of damaged packing con- tainers. This article reads the installation through an initial misrecognition, seeing the boxes as a version of ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings. This displacement, where one place recalls somewhere else, is pursued through a discussion of W.J.T. Mitchell’s reflections on comparative ‘promised lands’, Israeli artist Larry Abramson’s notion of abstraction as camouflage, Eyal Weizman’s analysis of simulated battle-spaces, and Mark Twain’s critical reading of desert spaces in the western US and Palestine. The article argues that Makhoul’s work calls up a series of associations between times and places that speaks not only to the specific (Israel/Palestine) but to a broader global hermeneutics of empire based on symbolic overdetermination and strategic conceal- ment and erasure.
|Journal||Theory, Culture and Society|
|Journal citation||29 (7-8), pp. 341-357|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1177/0263276412459088|