Elizabeth Rauh is a Ph.D Candidate in Islamic Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Michigan, USA.
Her dissertation project examines how artists in the modern Middle East have harnessed destruction and forms of violence into productive and creative art practices. These resulting art works often interrogate historical art methods and materials, including Islamic artistic traditions and other regional and global art movements, and offer clues as to why some historic practices dissipated while others flourished. Rather than historicize modern art in the Arab World as derivative, alternative, or “hybrid” styles and aesthetics, Rauh will explore the instrumental role of medium and its accompanying discourses and contestations. Through close analysis of the material and visual elements of art works, such as Hana Malallah’s “ruins” paintings, Rauh will unpack artistic processes of modernity and its inherently destructive effects. The research will ultimately demonstrate how artists negotiate and counteract destruction through the creative weaponry of artistic expression.
-Elizabeth Rauh, 2015