Chapter 13 Resemblance, Difference, and Simulacrum in Palestinian and Israeli Parafiction Art

In: Imagined Israel(s): Representations of the Jewish State in the Arts
Keren Goldberg
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This chapter deals with parafictional works created by Israeli and Palestinian artists, specifically Tamir Zadok’s Gaza Canal (2010), a satirical video presenting an alternative history in which the Gaza Strip was separated from Israel by a canal, and Khaled Jarrar’s State of Palestine (2011–), a project that includes the design and distribution of a passport stamp and postal stamp for Palestine. Flowing through social media and bureaucratic infrastructures, these creations were experienced as real events rather than artworks: once uploaded online, Gaza Canal was perceived as a political proposal, and Jarrar’s stamps were officially printed by various postal services. The chapter wishes to unpack the works’ complex mimicking of aesthetic procedures and national symbols while considering them as Deleuzian simulacrums based on inherent difference and as destabilizing the entire notion of the model and the copy. In this sense, the works challenge political binaries and national identities. Moreover, their unique aesthetic representation, in which their ontological status as real or fictive shifts according to their spectators’ perceptions, reshapes prevalent political pre- and misconceptions of Israel and Palestine, and the relations of difference and resemblance between the two nations.

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