David Sperber – Abstract

“Hosting Culture”: The Relationship between Judaism and Islam in the Works of Three Religious Female  Artists

Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / June 2014 1(1)

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Abstract:
This article is directed to uncovering an unknown branch of contemporary Israeli art that examines the ties between Judaism and Islam in general, and specifically the cultural ties between Jews and Arabs in Israel. This branch is developing among women artists who are active in the Modern Orthodox social sphere.

Central to this article is the understanding that the local art discourse rests on European models and these are tied directly to the world of Christian iconography. However, the artists who appear in this article do not yield to these accepted standards. Not infrequently they aim at appropriating, or at least examining, the possibility of a deep connection between their world of Jewish art and the Muslim cultural milieu.

A study of their artistic works that will be presented in this article reveals that they reflect a clear independent identity, which does not contradict a complex, multi-dimensional, challenging view of the “Other”, and deals with the tension between Jewish and Muslim culture. On the one hand, their works sharpen a focus on the dichotomy between them, but, on the other hand, they also strengthen the areas shared between them.