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Caitlin Woolsey

Place as Provisional: Site-Specific Art Commissions in Sharjah

[Carey Young. Body Techniques (after Parallel Stress, Dennis Oppenheim, 1970), 2007.]

Two metaphors, both equally decrepit, are alternately deployed in discussions of “place” in the Gulf Arab states: on the one hand, the notion of a tabula rasa, and, on the other hand, an attachment to a codified narrative of historical and cultural sitedness. Rem Koolhaas exemplified the former stance in his pronouncement in 2007 that the topography along the Persian Gulf provides “the final tabula rasa on which new identities can be inscribed: palms, world maps, cultural ...

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Caitlin Woolsey


Caitlin Woolsey is a PhD candidate in History of Art at Yale University. Her research revolves around the intersection of sound and experimental collage practices in postwar Paris. Her critical writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Continental Philosophy Review.