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Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin: Chicago [Hardcover]

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Item description for Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin: Chicago by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin...

Chicago is a fake Arab town built by the Israeli Defense Force for urban combat training. It is a place that is familiar to Israeli and American soldiers, but until now largely unknown outside Israel. Chicago stands in the middle of the Negev desert, a ghost town whose history directly mirrors the story of the conflict with Palestine. During the first Gulf War, American Special Forces had their first taste of the Middle East here. "Rehearsals" included a failed attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein, the Battle of Fallujah and, most recently, the evacuation of the Gaza settlements.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 10" Height: 13.25"
Weight:   3.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 15, 2007
Publisher   SteidlMack
ISBN  3865213073  
ISBN13  9783865213075  

Availability  0 units.

More About Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he directs the Centre for Research Architecture and the European Research Council funded project Forensic Architecture. He is also a founder member of the collective Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is the author of "Hollow Land", among other titles. He lives in London.

Eyal Weizman has an academic affiliation as follows - Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin: Chicago?

An aspect of Israeli politics  Jul 5, 2008
When I first flipped through this book, these pictures of cans of coke, watermelon, birdcage, walls full of graffiti's and car wrecks followed by pages without numeration containing explanatory comments written in big bold letters really surprised me. Each reproduction seems to be a piece of a surrealistic scenery. Unfortunately, it is not fictional. This kind of surrealism is part of the Israelis and Palestinians' real life. These items that at first sight appear benign because they belong to our daily environment might actually hide a bomb made by a warrior who fights with asymmetrical means against the so-called "occupation policy" applied by Israel. With these pictures, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin want to demonstrate how the metastases of war invade each organic fiber of the society. The book starts with the unveiling of the existence of a fake military town called Chicago built in the middle of the Negev desert where, as they write: "Everything that happened, happened here first, in rehearsal". All wars led and to be led by Israel in the future are being practiced in Chicago. From the pictures we can deduct that, though artificial and phantasmagoric, this town has a lot in common with the territories destined to be occupied by Israel. It is therefore not neutral that the book begins with a description of this ghost town that expresses only desolation.
As a matter of fact, in that region, war is omnipresent, tangible. It is particularly observable in the architectural structure of the occupied territories. But the worst is that the phenomenon of war would surreptitiously become incrusted in the collective unconscious of Israeli people, so that it converts itself into a quasi natural occurrence in their daily life. This could be interpreted as a trend of alienation, since taking war as a natural phenomenon or even as a contingency is a symptom of alienation. That may be particularly true if one considers that the "civilian occupation" is supported by a whole theological and philosophical system. In the frame of a strategy for reshaping the Jewish "Memory", a new semantical approach infuses the Jewish "mission" with an aura of holiness. Biblical symbols such as a rock, a tree, a hill chosen to express the original suffering and resistance of the Jewish people against the Gentiles, are used as a mythical rallying point in the implantation of a new Israeli colony. Another consequence of this process of sacralization is the systematical appropriation of strategic hilltops which provide Israeli settlers with an extraordinary capacity of control over the neighborhood and convert them into good sentinels of the policy of reconquest.
Eyal Weizman, author of "Hollow Land" who contributes with his comments in the elaboration of this book, insists on the fact that a demystification of the biblical symbols used in the frame of the policy of civil occupation is a must. Also, one should learn to look at those apparently innocent objects like cans of coke, watermelons, etc... and be aware of the role they might play in this environment of conflicts. Each of them could hide a little bit of this awful war. As Weizman stresses, it is precisely the purpose of this book: Broomberg and Chanarin have the great merit of having been able to translate into an accessible language the hidden mechanisms of this war and the pernicious consequences that they have on people.

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