Disasters of War Revisited

By: Hila Hermelin Kuttner  

Practice Based Research--a method focusing on the systematic exploration, reflection and conceptualization of the interrelationships between artistic processes and their outcomes (i.e. artworks) and the wider cultural/social/political context (Marshal 2010)--is slowly gaining recognition as a valuable contribution to the Humanities. This study, completed as part of the requirements for an M.Ed degree in the Artist-Teacher ABR track at Oranim College, Israel, examines a long-term creative process which took as its focus a debilitating and everlasting universal concern: the grave consequences of the patriarchal control over, and aggression towards women. The study tracks the evolution and emergence of specific images and working techniques that respond to the issue of violence against women, beginning with a series of oil paintings of a combined "scar/vagina/map of Israel" image; moving to paintings and etchings that depict "bending forms" as well as variations on the image of Nut (Sky Goddess in Egyptian mythology) to explore the issue of Power versus Vulnerability in women; and in the final stage, a series of "trauma-laden" mixed objects combined of organic and inorganic materials with ready-made miniature generic dolls--a personal/maternal response to collective traumas of war and violence. A central concept discussed in relation to the creative process is Kristeva's idea of "abject-art" (Kristeva 2005). The complex relationships between Sexuality, Aggression and Feminism are discussed in regard to both psychoanalytic approaches (Freud 1923, Klein 1945, Benjamin 1988) and artworks of F. Goya, L. Bourgeois, M. Abakanowicz, and the Chapman brothers.

Women, Violence, War, Feminist Art, Abject Art, Power, Vulnerability
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Hila Hermelin Kuttner

Adjunct Professor, School of Society and the Arts, Israel

am a 1998 graduate of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology from CCNY, and currently completing my M.ED degree in the Artist-Teacher ABR Track in Oranim College Israel. I have a longstanding experience in teaching psychologists and expressive therapy students and I became an artist myself later in life.