This is a book about the public display of death in contemporary culture. It consists of a series of essays on specific cases in which death is displayed in museums and in photography. The essays focus mainly on representations of violence and death in events in recent Israeli history, including the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Palestinian Intifada, and on the visual presence of traumatic events in Israeli culture throughout the twentieth century. They show how images of these events both shape and aestheticize the viewer's experience of death.The book offers a new reading of the work of Walter Benjamin, particularly his essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." Engaging the disciplinary perspectives of philosophy, art history, cultural studies, and photographic theory, the book also draws upon the work of such writers as Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Jean-Luc Nancy.
Ariella azoulay Director of Photo-Lexic, International Research Group, Minerva Center, Tel Aviv University
2010 Gladstine Visiting Professor, Human Rights Center, UConn
She is the author of Civil Imagination: The Political Ontology of Photography (2010, in hebrew, Resling, in english 2011, Verso), Constituent Violence 1947-1950 (Resling in Hebrew, 2009, in english From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947-1950, Pluto Press), Act of State (2008, in Hebrew - Etgar publisher, in Italian Atto di Stato in Italian Bruno Mondadori), The Civil Contract of Photography (2008, Zone Books, 2007 Resling), Once Upon A Time: Photography following Walter Benjamin (Bar Ilan University Press, 2006, in Hebrew), Death's Showcase (MIT Press, 2001 - Winner of The Affinity Award, ICP) and TRAining for ART (Hakibutz Hameuchad and The Porter Institut Publishers, 2000, in Hebrew).
She is co-author with Adi Ophir of This Regime Which Is Not One: Occupation and Democracy between the Sea and The River - (1967 - ), [2008, Resling, in hebrew; 2011, Stanford University Press]; Bad Days, 2002, Resling (in Hebrew).
Curator of Untaken Photographs (2010, Winner of the Igor Zabel Competition, The Moderna galerija, Lubliana, Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Constituent Violence 1947-1950 (Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Architecture of Destruction (Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Act of State: 1967-2007 (Minshar Gallery, 2007), Everything Could Be Seen (Um Al Fahem Gallery, 2004), The Angel of History (Hertzela Museum of Art, Mishkan Le-Omanut, Ein Harod, 2001).
Director of documentary films, At Nightfall (2005), I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara (2004), The Chain Food (2004), The Angel of History (2000) and A Sign from Heaven (1999).