«Comment peut-on être Persan ? »
Les letters Persanes, Montesquieu, 1729
In the Persian letters, Montesquieu recounts the experience of two Persian travelers visiting France for the first time and, thru their falsely naive comments and innocent astonishments over the local customs and traditions, presents a satire of the French society of the 18th century.
Following a reverse approach, the bodies of works «Comment peut-on être #Persan ? » appropriates the novel’s famous sentence "How can one be Persian? " to examine how we approach difference – be it difference of nationality, religion, history, culture or ethnicity - at a time of global cultural homogenization accelerated by new technologies.
The artist takes the Iranian society and her personal experience living in it as a case in point to explore how cultural clichés and over-simplified translations are formed, disseminated and perpetuated when Google map reviews, colorful edited Instagram posts and TripAdvisor comments have become key reference points to locate ourselves physically and culturally in space and define our identity towards what is foreign to us.
Internet and social networks enable us to act both as receivers and emitters of information. Thru the virtual content we generate, we become the author of our own "Persian Letters" written in a simplified techno-language made of images and short posts and delivered anonymously online to an infinite audience.
In «Comment peut-on être #Persan ? », Kosmatopoulos brings together photographs, neons, sound pieces and found objects to paint with humour a playful caricature of the ethnocentric way we approach the Other in the post-Internet age.
List of works
Cultural likability, bodies of work, 2016, c-print
Persian Poems, bodies of work, 2016, audio
Because Teheran, June 10, 2016
Tehran Times Newspaper (print), May 28, 2016
MEHR, May 28, 2016
Hodhod News, May 28, 2016
Gozareshe Honar, May 28, 2016
Agaah, May 28, 2016
Hamdeli Newspaper (print), May 28, 2016
Cinemaye No, May 28, 2016
19 Dey, May 28, 2016
Chehre News, May 28, 2016
BORNA, May 28, 2016
PANA, May 28, 2016
Aftab, May 28, 2016
NIPS, May 28, 2016
Kahbar online, May 28, 2016