gentle reminder, 2018
c-print, 100 x 65,4 cm
polymer film, 100 x 65,4 cm

The installation gentle reminder is a critical examination of Man Ray's photo "Noire et Blanche".‬
Gentle reminder problematizes the fetishization and exotisation of Black people by white people as well as the‭ (‬cultural‭) ‬appropriation and exploitation‭.‬

Man Ray who lived at that time in France used the Baule mask as an accessory taken from the by then French colony Côte d'Ivoire‭. ‬

In the installation‭, ‬the mask is replaced by a mobile phone‭, ‬which is an example of the ongoing exploitation of natural resources by the processed tantalum‭, ‬extracted from the ore coltan‭. ‬Coltan is found mainly in central Africa‭. ‬Western companies often obtain this natural resource from illegal mines‭. ‬Not seldomly workers in these mines are children‭. ‬

The mobile phone also plays a huge part in our lifes when it comes to self-representation‭. ‬The constant pursuit of self-optimization has become a part of many people and by image-processing as well as photographic filters‭ (‬masks‭), ‬people seek to portray a specific image of themselves‭.‬

Furthermore, the installation draws attention to the repeated‭ ‬de-subjectification of women by men‭. ‬By taking the photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse for the magazine Vogue‭, ‬Man Ray was part of the commodification process of the female body‭. ‬
This time it is a man who is lying powerless on the table – turned into an object by the female photographer. ‬

Photo: Elodie Grethen 
Photo: Nico Kaiser

© Sepideh Hassani 2024