Since 2011 Oraib Toukan has been researching, and remaking works from a found collection of 900 film reels from former Soviet cultural centres in Jordan. Among these films were early productions for past members of the PLO’s Palestine Film Unit. Toukan’s practice-based DPhil historicises this collection by departing from a two-second shot that the Palestinian photographer and cinematographer Hani Jowharieh filmed of a female casualty of war during the 1967 war with Israel. Her thesis looks to unravel questions around, the agency of contemporary art today in mining, employing, and representing the ‘cruel image’, as well as the question of appropriation practices in post-colonial contexts and archives.
Toukan graduated from Bard College with an MFA in Photography under a full Jacob Javitz Fellowship. She is visiting faculty at the International Academy of Fine Arts in Ramallah, Palestine, and was head of the Arts program and Media Studies department at Al Quds Bard College between 2013-2015.
Recent exhibitions include the Center for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Mori Art Museum, the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon, Kunstraum Muenchen, the 11th Istanbul Biennial, and the BrotKunsthalle.
Toukan is a Clarendon Fellow, with further support from St Johns College.