Rebirth, from the Women in Shadow series
When individuals migrate from one culture to another, one’s identity through language can become a multi-faceted challenge between the past and present. When a singular existence unfolds in a particular cultural context, the manifestation of this is grounded in a subsequent understanding of unalterable and irreplaceable memories of identity and power.
My artwork considers the complex notion of those cultural identities that do not claim validation through seeking originality; rather, these cultures in my past and present perceive identity as a transient invention. The image of the shroud commonly associated with the chador as an Islamic value in my past experience is a variety of reactions relating to issues of belief, the taboo and what constitutes the ‘boundary’.
The exhibition Rebirth addresses the transient identity that exists between shadow and light, past and present, and present a response to the concept and condition presented by the 'veiling' of women in Islamic societies as a form of gender separation.
Rebirth thus confronts my living in a new culture, and the truth behind shadow and recognition of woman as ‘Other’. It erases negative connotations of black and darkness to discover the source of the shadow, and light beyond that. Shadow does not exist if there is no light. Light will not be comprehensible and desirable if there is no shadow and darkness.
Nasim Nasr, May 2011