In what sense can works of art constitute a community? How can an artist’s particular subject position participate in a social connection established by art? Taking issue with current claims that community precedes works of art and determines them ideologically, the article argues that a community is what might be generated by works of art and the subject position behind them. Since my argument revolves around the tension between the social and subjective aspects of works of art, the article begins by returning to two major articulations of the decline of the subjective in Western art. It then examines two canonical essays about Israeli art that embody the tension between subjectivity and the constitution of a community. The solution I offer is based on Freud’s notion of social bonds and their relation to the unconscious.


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pp. 169-187
Launched on MUSE
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