Episode 10: Thinking and Rethinking Orientalism
In this episode, called “Thinking and Rethinking Orientalism,” we examine Orientalism as a particular version of the Western gaze that influenced many 19th century European painters. The Western or European gaze treats non-Western subjects as different and inferior, but also as exotic, mysterious, or enticing. After examining the orientalist visual tropes in paintings by Gérôme and Delacroix, we turn towards contemporary artists. Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi creates meaningful portraits of Muslim women that challenge perceptions of Arab female identity. Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was an Iranian artist whose works combine Eastern and Western influences into a unique sculptural style. We take a look at her series Fourth Family.
Sources + further reading:
Edward W. Said. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.
Nancy Demerdash. “Orientalism.” Smarthistory. https://smarthistory.org/orientalism
Eugène Delacroix. The Death of Sardanapalus, 1827. Oil on canvas, 12 ft 10 in x 16 ft 3 in. (3.92 x 4.96 m), Musée du Louvre, Paris. https://collections.louvre.fr/ark:/53355/cl010065757
Kathryn Calley Galitz. “Romanticism.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/roma/hd_roma.htm
British Museum Blog. “How Did the Islamic World Influence Western Art?” British Museum Blog. https://blog.britishmuseum.org/how-did-the-islamic-world-influence-western-art/
British Museum Blog. “An Introduction to Orientalist Painting.” British Museum Blog. https://blog.britishmuseum.org/an-introduction-to-orientalist-painting/.
Jean Léon-Gérôme. The Slave Market, 1871. Oil on canvas, 59.7 x 74.9cm. Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio. https://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/art/explore-the-collection?id=11295788
“Lalla Essaydi,” http://lallaessaydi.com/1.html
“Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings, 1974–2014. Guggenheim Museum. https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/monir
Hussein Bicar. http://hbicar.com/biography.html
Abdul Qader Al Rais. http://admaf.org/artists/abdul-qader-al-rais
Charles Hossein Zenderoudi. http://www.zenderoudi.com/english/artwork.html
Amitchell125. Beethoven. Opening of String Quartet No. 1. 1801. CC BY-SA 4.0
Rimsky-Korsakov. Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, Op. 35. The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pierre Monteux. Violin solo by Naoum Blinder. CC0 1.0
JuliusH. Bandari - Persian Arabic Music - Khaliji Drum and Nay Flute. Pixabay license.
Andrewfai. Enti w Ana arabic song OUD Cover. Pixabay license.
Bagher Moazen. Struggle. We played a 10 second sample of this work. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Season 2 of Unboxing the Canon is produced by Professor Linda Steer for her course “Introduction to the History of Western Art” in the Department of Visual Arts at Brock University. Our sound designer, co-host and contributing researcher is Madeline Collins.
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