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December 2019, English
12×18 cm, 160 pages, b/w and color ill., softcover
ISBN 978-3-95679-475-9
Daly & Lyon

Heirloom documents the development of the artistic research for Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour’s project for the Danish Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. It explores how recurrent notions in Sansour’s oeuvre, such as memory, trauma, identity, and belonging, intertwine with the discourses of science fiction and environmental disaster narratives. The volume also explores what it means to produce work from within contested geographies, specifically considering how, through research and the process of production, the artist grapples with complex issues of national representation. In keeping with the focus in this series on the research that informs the elaboration of an artist’s work over time, the material for this publication has been collated in parallel with its development over the past year.

Larissa Sansour was born in East Jerusalem and studied fine art in Copenhagen, London, and New York. Her work is interdisciplinary and uses film, photography, installation and sculpture. Solo exhibitions include the Danish Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, New Art Exchange in Nottingham, Nikolaj Kunst in Copenhagen, Turku Art Museum in Finland, and DEPO in Istanbul. Sansour’s work has featured in the biennials of Istanbul, Busan, and Liverpool. She has exhibited at venues such as Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; LOOP, Seoul; Barbican, London; Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. She lives and works in London.

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is currently a Co-investigator on AHRC and GCRF–funded research projects that focus on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text and Digital War, respectively, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019–ongoing).


“A deep dive into the crevice of time, in between the past and the future, Larissa Sansour’s Heirloom alters perceptions and approaches to representations of memory, identity and national aspirations.”

— Jack Persekian, Director Al Ma’mal Jerusalem

“Precise, accessible, and richly contextualized, each volume in the Research/Practice series gives satisfying insight into the research process of some of our most interesting contemporary artists.”

— Professor Laura U Marks, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

“More and more, artists are seizing upon or producing archives as a way of speculating on knowledge.  Such projects can be particularly difficult to grasp because of the complexity and breadth of their constituents. The Research/Practice series comes at just the right time to assist in critically exploring the terms and stakes of artistic research by addressing some of its most important practitioners in sustained, but accessible accounts, including a rich array of primary sources.”

— Professor David Joselit, Art, Film, and Visual Studies, Harvard University