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". The original photo has been further developed into todays life and examinied on predominantly two levels.
Gentle reminder problematices the fetishisation and exotisation of Black people by white people as well as the (cultural) appropriation and exploitation which still takes place in and through todays so called western societies. 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. The mobile phone represents an example of the ongoing exploitation of natural ressources due to the processed tantalum, which is obtained from the ore Coltan. Coltan is found mainly in central Africa. Western companies often obtain this natural resource from illegal mines. Not seldomly a high percentage of the workers in these mines are children. The mobile phone also takes a huge part in our lifes when it comes to self-represenation (in social media). The ongoing self-optimisation is an integral part in our daily life and by image-processing and photographic filters (masks) people try to convey a certain picture of themselves.
The second mayor level of the installation draws attention to the repeated de-subjectification of women by men and criticies the ongoing stereotypes. 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. 
© E.Grethen

© N. Kaiser

© Sepideh Hassani 2024