Guilty Pleasures (2015)

In this work a term “guilty pleasure” has been used rather literally while reflecting my own unease when dealing with orientalism. These early works became a backbone for my further practice and the framework for “in the search of allies” and internationalism research. The other two works “Figs with porridge” and “Pomegranates with chips” in a tongue and cheek manner address the imagining of ‘exotic’ becoming an everyday norm in the West.

 

The works have been influenced by the tourism industry’s decision to use pseudo Arabic script to advertise exotic travel destinations, the appropriation of Arabic calligraphy that in fact has no literal meaning in traditional Orientalist paintings and utilization of Arabic script for purely decorative reasons during the renaissance era (pseudo- kufic style). Additionally, in order to create a non-locatable‘Eastern’ font, I used traditional calligraphy techniques and studied Arabic alphabet along with different calligraphy styles. 

 

These works aims to confront the viewer and his assumptions and knowledge of the ‘Oriental’/’Eastern’ culture and languages.

MARIJA NEMČENKO ARŽANYCH