The modern nation-state is supposed to be ethnically and culturally homogenous; after World War II, both Israel’s implementation of Zionism and Arab Nationalism adopted versions of this purism—purging and excluding from the body social what refuses assimilation. After the Six-Day War, the Egyptian-born Israeli writer Jacqueline Kahanoff deployed the notion of Levantinism to challenge the national narrative from a minoritarian perspective informed by her memories of colonial Cairo. In engaging with Kahanoff’s Levantine writings, Eva Meyer and Eran Schaerf seek to re-examine her Levantinism not as a readymade solution, but as a complex and cogent—albeit compromised—problematization of the state as we know it.
artist and writer
Eran Schaerf is an artist and writer with an academic background in architecture, urban planning, and photography. His practice focuses on architectures of discourse at the intersection of fashion, mass media, language, and the built environment and interweaves historical and contemporary political narratives in print, in space, on air, and—often in collaboration with writer and philosopher Eva Meyer—in film. His work has been shown widely in exhibitions such as the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice (2011), Skulptur Projekte Münster, Münster (2007), and Manifesta 2 in Luxemburg (1998). In 2013 Schaerf received the Käthe Kollwitz Prize awarded by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Schaerf lives and works in Berlin.