David Reeb, Let's have another war #5, Acrylic on canvas, 160 x 140 cm, 1997
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The book addresses relationships between aesthetics and politics, focusing on the complex geography of Israel/Palestine, where borders and the nature of political statehood remain unresolved. The title Between States refers to the unfinished political nature of this area, while also describing the condition of in-between-ness defined by the book itself as it shifts from artistic concerns to more explicitly political subjects. This in-between-ness also relates to the complex spatial relationships between the UK, Israel, and the West Bank that were involved in the development of the dialogue between the two authors.
Between States is made up of a set of images and texts that move the reader between different forms of representation and knowledge: from paintings to photographs and video-stills, and from texts involving varying degrees of theoretical abstraction to first-person accounts of events and experiences in Israel, the West Bank and the UK. The uncertainty that defines the political conditions explored through these different forms is echoed in the sense of uncertainty created by the overall format of the book and the relationships between its different elements. This format is intended to help the reader make their own connections between different images and textual narratives, and through this to explore the themes of the project in a relatively open way.
As well as reproductions of paintings by David Reeb and photographs and articles by both authors, the book also includes works by other visual producers, such as Hans Haacke, Peter Kennard, Miki Kratsman, and the Israel/Palestine-based photographic collective ActiveStills.
Dr Simon Faulkner is Senior Lecturer in Art History at Manchester School of Art. He is currently working on a long-term research project dealing with relationships between visual culture and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
David Reeb is an artist who lives and works in Tel Aviv and has been exhibiting since the late 1970s. He is perhaps best known for work derived from photo-journalistic images relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In recent years he has also shown video work related to his documentation of demonstrations in West Bank. Reeb has had solo exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Art Museum and the Stadtische Kunsthalle in Dusseldorf as well as participating in various group exhibitions including Documenta X in Kassel (1997), the 7th Havana Biennial in 2000, and the Berlin Biennial in 2012.