Raeda Saadeh, 'Who will make me real?'

Raeda Saadeh, 'Who will make me real?'

Raeda Saadeh
Palestinian. Born Umm al Fahem, 1977. Lives Jerusalem
'Who will make me real?'
2003
Digital c-print
Museum no. E.356-2010
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum

In her photographs, videos and performances, Raeda Saadeh assumes various roles to explore issues of displacement, gender and identity, with particular reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here the artist lies in a pose that recalls 19th-century European paintings of reclining nudes. These often featured non-European women and 'Orientalist' costumes and scenery. Saadeh is encased in Palestinian newspapers, which conceal her body from neck to ankle while revealing its contours. The covering is both flimsy and apparently immobilising, resembling a papier-mâché body cast. Any sensuality implied by her pose is disrupted by the harsh realities reported in the newspaper.