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Under the SkinFeminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and North Africa Today$
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Ceren Özpınar and Mary Kelly

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266748

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266748.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

The Moment of Change

The Moment of Change

Thematic Strands in Contemporary Saudi Women’s Art

(p.55) 4 The Moment of Change
Under the Skin

Lina M. Kattan

British Academy

Saudi women artists challenge cultural boundaries to document change in the notions of identity and agency. These artists employ many experimental techniques through unconventional themes while balancing cultural traditions, Saudi heritage, and Islamic identity. This chapter seeks to identify in what ways artists disrupt the commonly–known prohibition regarding figuration as relegated to the art of painting vis–á–vis photography, particularly in figurative depictions. It suggests two types of reality: the spiritual Real that is connected to painting, and the technological real, which is comparable to reality without a soul. It thus demonstrates how the interrelated concepts of art, reality, and the Real can impact values attached to representations of women in Saudi art. The chapter draws upon the frameworks of feminism, postcolonialism, Post–Panofskian iconography, and deconstruction.

Keywords:   Body, Real, Figuration, Saudi Art, Feminism

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