Scheid, Kirsten L.

Fantasmic Objects: Art and Sociality from Lebanon, 1920-1950

In Fantasmic Objects, Kirsten L. Scheid offers a striking study of both modern art in Lebanon and modern Lebanon through art. By focusing on the careers of Moustapha Farrouk and Omar Onsi, forefathers of an iconic national repertoire, and their rebellious student Saloua Raouda Choucair, founder of an antirepresentational, participatory art, Scheid traces an emerging sense of what it means to be Lebanese through the evolution of new exhibition, pedagogical, and art-writing practices. She reveals that art and artists helped found the nation during French occupation, as the formal qualities and international exhibitions of nudes and landscapes in the 1930s crystallized notions of modern masculinity, patriotic femininity, non-sectarian religiosity, and citizenship. Examining the efforts of painters, sculptors, and activists in Lebanon who fiercely upheld aesthetic development and battled for new forms of political being, Fantasmic Objects offers an insightful approach to the history and formation of modern Lebanon.

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Kirsten L. Scheid is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut and Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Fine Art and Art History. She is Cofounder of the Anthropology Society in Lebanon (ASIL) in Beirut and Cofounder and Producer of the Hikayat Wala min Bayrut (Stories of a child from Beirut). She co-curated The Arab Nude: The Artist as Awakener as well as Jerusalem: Actual and Possible, the ninth edition of the Jerusalem Show. Kirsten L. Scheid has been a EUME Fellow in the academic year 2009/10.


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