‘Submission’ Exhibited at Invisible Line Gallery 2012, Dalston:
Islam means submission. Women are living in a submissive position to men despite religion everywhere around the world.
In this work my aim is to play with the traditional, the religious and the sexual.
The rosaries which counts and names the 99 names of Allah in a 33 bead abrivation are surprisingly being used in an unexpected shameful bathing setting inviting the viewer into the ‘mahrem’ and intimate sphere of Muslim women. The woman is a part of a submissive religion, she is part of traditional forms and behaviours regulating her as well as being a sexual being. According to some feminist readings women have learned from men to find sadomasochist sex as the sexuality that also turns them on. The woman here is criticizing that submissive position. Playing with a typical Middleeastern/Islamic everyday male object which consists of the ‘evil eye’/nazar that should protect us from other people’s eyes and thereby envy, the artist shows us a provocative act that is considered ayip (shameful genderwise) on so many levels.
1)she is naked
2)she takes the rosaries with her into the bath/bathroom
3)she plays on her sexuality in a sadomasochist way with the rosaries
All of the above three levels are all things that she should refrain from and not do according to the ayip-norms (gendered shame-norms) as they bring shame to her and her family as well as staining her family’s honour.
Performative photo with photoshop editing/layering, 2009