NO SUCH THING AS A REAL ORIENT (2009-2012)
Curator: Nina Kassianou
Edward Said conceived of “the Orient” as an entity constituted by the discursive practices and literary schemes of “Orientalism”. At the same time, he argued against essentialising notions of both “the West” and “the Orient”. He insisted that “there is no such thing as a real or true Orient” and that there is no necessary privilege of an “insider” perspective over an “outsider” one.
In Western imagery, contemporary India is still largely represented as the land of snake charmers and elephants, card-tricksters and mesmerists. Indians are seen as highly susceptible to the influence of legends and gossip. What supposedly grows best in the humid heat of afternoon siestas is fantasy, unreason and lust. Myths, nightmares and fantasies are in the air. As Salman Rushdie once put it , “the country itself is a sort of dream”.
This excessively romantic approach needs to be reconciled with the realities of one of the fastest growing economies worldwide, with social inequality and deep poverty of large parts of the population.
My images, the product of several trips to the subcontinent since 2009, are fragments of this complex and multi-layered reality, a personal documentary of the place and my reaction to its atmosphere.
GALERIA ARS NOVA
Mon-Fri: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
additionally: 13.05 (Sun): 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
opening: 12.05, 4.30 p.m.
exhibition will be held: 12–27.05