76 Chapters
Medium 9780253011428

5. Urban Boundaries, Religious Experience, and the North West London Eruv

Edited by Arijit Sen and Lisa Silverman Indiana University Press ePub

JENNIFER A. COUSINEAU

On the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, February 23, 2003, a woman carrying her infant child walked out her front door, through her yard, and into the street.1 This seemingly unremarkable occurrence was an unprecedented act among Sabbath-observant Jews in London. After centuries of Jewish life in London, why should such a mundane gesture mark a significant departure in the experience of the Jewish Sabbath? The catalyst for ritual innovation in this case was a spatial device called an eruv (plural, eruvim). An eruv is a space whose disparate areas are regarded as forming a single domain by virtue of the contiguity of its boundaries. An eruv can be built in a single street, uniting several dwellings on that street, or on a much larger scale, uniting many streets, households, and even neighborhoods. All eruvim, however, require real, physical boundaries. These boundaries tend to be minimalistic and are usually well integrated into the urban built environment. It is often difficult, even for eruv users, to detect the boundary by sight.2 Where possible, preexisting features of the urban environment deemed acceptable according to Jewish law, such as fences, row houses, hedges, railway lines, embankments, major roads, and bridges, can be borrowed imaginatively to create a contiguous boundary for the eruv. Where preexisting urban features are not fully contiguous, under certain circumstances Jewish law can allow for the boundary to be “completed” by erecting poles and wires to close gaps. The erection of some eighty poles in this way permitted the creation of an eruv that now encompasses an area of 6.5 square miles in North West London, including large parts of Hendon, Golders Green, Finchley, and the Hampstead Garden Suburb, and encircling the majority of the Jewish population of North West London. This eruv is known as the North West London Eruv.

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Medium 9780253006875

10. Framing Practices: Artists’ Voices and the Power of Self-Representation

Joanna Grabski Indiana University Press ePub

CHRISTINE MULLEN KREAMER

“Who is Olu Oguibe?” An artist! is the answer, not an Igbo or Uliist or whatever else. No one asks “who is Jeff Koons?” and David Hockney is not studied as a Cockney artist.

—OLU OGUIBE QTD. IN SIMON OTTENBERG,
NEW TRADITIONS FROM NIGERIA

In The Predicament of Culture, James Clifford raised the problem of cross-cultural translations, challenging the notion of ethnographic authority and asking the fundamental question: “Who has the authority to speak for a group's identity or authenticity?”1 This question has great relevance to discussions of museum exhibitions as narratives about cultural production from Africa and to considerations by African artists on and off the continent. Since the mid-1980s there has been a shift in the strategies museums adopt to enhance participation and to ensure that museums remain responsive and relevant to the communities they serve. Of particular interest is the extent to which those who are the focus of an exhibition play a role in their own representation. Increasingly, museum professionals recognize the benefits of exhibition models that rethink the singular, authoritative voice of the museum and embrace the telling of complex, multivocal narratives resonant with the realities of lived experience.

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Medium 9780253010469

7 Preservation as Good Business

Nancy R Hiller Quarry Books ePub

Gayle Karch Cook

Bill and I had always liked indiana history and architecture, and we spent hours exploring southern Indiana in the 1960s when we could spare the gasoline and the time. That was our recreation, eking out a few hours from our small Bloomington business, which we had started together at home and were gradually growing.

In 1976, the bicentennial year, historic preservation was emerging into the limelight nationally and locally. Bloomington Restorations, Inc., newly organized as a non-profit, was bringing attention to worthy old buildings in Monroe County. “Preservation is Good Business” was a National Trust theme, and adaptive reuse was being widely promoted. A stately 1850 downtown Bloomington home, the James Cochran house, was vacant and probably headed for demolition, while our thirteen-year-old medical business was outgrowing its quarters each year. Bill and I decided that we should see if preservation really is good business and renovate the Cochran house as an additional office building – our own bicentennial project.

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11 Bloomington Restorations: Saving Landmarks, Neighborhoods, and Bloomington’s Sense of Place

Nancy R Hiller Quarry Books ePub

Donald Granbois & Steve Wyatt

Since its founding in 1976, bloomington restorations inc. has relentlessly strived to save and restore the old buildings and neighborhoods of Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana. Formed by people fed up with the destruction of landmark houses near downtown Bloomington, the group quickly moved beyond advocacy into the direct action of acquiring and restoring old buildings.

By 2010, our group had saved and helped restore more than seventy-five historic structures, all of them protected by deed restrictions barring demolition. When Indiana Landmarks, the nation’s largest statewide historic preservation group, marked its fiftieth anniversary by offering a $5,000 prize to an organization for lifetime achievement in historic preservation, the award went to Bloomington Restorations. “From a preservation perspective,” said Indiana Landmarks president Marsh Davis, Bloomington Restorations “has done it all, and can legitimately claim a sizable chunk of credit for making Bloomington an attractive, lively, and distinctive place to live and visit.”

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9. Who Owns the Past?: Constructing an Art History of a Malian Masquerade

Joanna Grabski Indiana University Press ePub

MARY JO ARNOLDI

 

Since the 1980s anthropologists have paid increasingly more attention to issues of ethnographic authority, fieldwork reciprocity, and the way that collaboration through interviews profoundly shapes the production of scholarly narratives.1 This chapter focuses on the critical role that interviews have played in my field research and in the writing of an art history of youth association masquerades in Mali.2 My analysis considers the ways that interviews are both collaborative and cumulative processes. I examine my interviews with various individuals and groups and look at the ways that my casual conversations, as well as more formal taped interviews with men and women performers and with male blacksmith-carvers, have been instrumental in the production of an art history of this art form. These collaborations represent different but intersecting domains of knowledge and experience that have each contributed in critical ways to shaping, reshaping, and extending the scholarly narrative about these masquerades.

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