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Study for Woman נפש חיה בי  is a new artist book by Dana Darvish, which uses photography and collage to explore themes relating to art history, feminism, and personal discovery, bringing together the past few years of Darvish’s practice, it is an unfinished, ongoing study of sex and body, mind and mourning, emptiness and loss, woman and animal.

For over two decades, Darvish has been working in photography-based practices. She uses several techniques—such as montage, manual collage, video, and photography—which she sometimes combines in installations comprising objects and words. Darvish breaks down boundaries between images and identities; assimilates bodies of different kinds while revealing the raw connections between them; conveys information, obscures and amends it to create a new hybrid.


Darvish’s work adopts tactics of gazing at the female body derived from Western art and culture, adopted in order to sabotage and puncture, destroy and rupture the very works from which they were derived. Her works and installations underscore formal aspects and the power of beauty—of wounds, cuts, imperfections—that underpin her artistic endeavor. From the outset of her career as an artist, Darvish has persistently presented as one the perspective of an animal’s spirit and a woman’s soul, not differentiating between their degrees of pain, suffering or fracture due to social constructs and cultural patterns. At the same time, she highlights close analogies between a woman’s body and that of an animal, in their movement and gestures, life drive, and hidden.  


Text by Ilanit Konopny

Published by Sternthal Books​

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