Att visualisera Orienten
En närläsning av Linda Nochlins The Imaginary Orient utifrån Edward Said och John M Mackenzie
According to Edward Said the Orient is a European construction that has arisen out of a need to describe the Western civilisation as culturally superior. This occurrence Said gives the label "Orientalism". Art historian Linda Nochlin takes Said?s theories further in The Imaginary Orient where she conveys the thesis that the pictorial Orientalism is an expression of an imperialistic ideology. John M. Mackenzie, on the other hand is of the opinion that the pictorial Orientalism rather is an expression of the Romantic movement. To understand the Orientalist art we have to consider the social and historical context in which the work was created. By trying to justify the Orientalists choice of motive Mackenzie takes the view of those who consider art history as a positive discipline. Nochlin on the other hand means that we instead of fortifying the art historical canon we ought to politicize it, which only is possible if we contemplate art history as a critical rather than a positive discipline.