Art and Identity at the Water's Edge

1st Edition

Tricia Cusack

Routledge
Published September 9, 2016
Reference - 270 Pages
ISBN 9781138249899 - CAT# Y312922

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Summary

The water's edge, whether shore or riverbank, is a marginal territory that becomes invested with layers of meaning. The essays in this collection present intriguing perspectives on how the water's edge has been imagined and represented in different places at various times and how this process contributed to the formation of social identities. Art and Identity at the Water's Edge focuses upon national coastlines and maritime heritage; on rivers and seashore as regions of liminality and sites of conflicting identities; and on the edge as a tourist setting. Such themes are related to diverse forms of art, including painting, architecture, maps, photography, and film. Topics range from the South African seaside resort of Durban to the French Riviera. The essays explore successive ideological mappings of the Jordan River, and how Czech cubist architecture and painting shaped a new nationalist reading of the Vltava riverbanks. They examine post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans as a filmic spectacle that questions assumptions about American identity, and the coast depicted as a site of patriotism in nineteenth-century British painting. The collection demonstrates how waterside structures such as maritime museums and lighthouses, and visual images of the water's edge, have contributed to the construction of cultural and national identities.

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