The Jewish Identity Project: New American Photography

Overview

While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of American Jewish identity and how Jews fit today into larger discourses of race, ethnicity, and religion. Featuring ten photographic and video projects by emerging and mid-career artists, all commissioned by The ...

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Overview

While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of American Jewish identity and how Jews fit today into larger discourses of race, ethnicity, and religion. Featuring ten photographic and video projects by emerging and mid-career artists, all commissioned by The Jewish Museum, the book presents a range of provocative discussions of the nature of Jewish identity in 21st-century America.

Susan Chevlowe discusses how the artists explore individual communities to dispel stereotypes of contemporary Jewish life, and Ilan Stavans dissects the diversity of American Jews over the last century. In illuminating interviews with the artists, Joanna Lindenbaum provides insights into their ideas and methods. A beautifully illustrated portfolio of each of the commissioned works immerses the viewer in a distinctive community, revealing complex and often surprising ways in which Jewish Americans grapple with their identity.

Participating artists:

• Dawoud Bey

• Tirtza Even and Brian Karl

• Rainer Ganahl

• Nikki S. Lee

• Yoshua Okon

• Jaime Permuth

• Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

• Shari Rothfarb and Avishai Mekonen

• Jessica Shokrian

• Chris Verene

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300109160
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/2005
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 10.24 (w) x 11.64 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Chevlowe and Joanna Lindenbaum are independent curators. Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Framing Jewishness : photography and the boundaries of community 1
Oy, are we a Pluribus? : multiculturalism and American Jews 27
Artist portfolios
Dawoud Bey 48
Tirtza Even and Brian Karl 56
Rainer Ganahi 66
Nikki S. Lee 82
Shari Rothfarb Mekonen and Avishai Mekonen 90
Yoshua Okon 96
Jaime Permuth 106
Andrea Robbins and Max Becher 124
Jessica Shokrian 140
Chris Verene 148
Commissions and collaboration : the Jewish Identity Project behind the scenes 169
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