This essay examines painting and music in modern Syria as cultural practices that give voice to modernist sensibilities. I argue that two important spatial and temporal tropes structure the aesthetics of authenticity in Syrian visual and musical arts: the old city and the countryside. Through recourse to these metonymic representations and evocations, Syrian artists articulate a vision of modernity in which discourses of emotion and sentiment are important bases of authentic Syrian cultural identity. In this manner they offer an alternative to European ideologies of modernity that have stressed rationality. At the same time they promote critical responses to the modern Syrian state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)