16 x 24 in (40 x 60 cm)
Cultural Likability takes a critical look at the ethnocentric way we as foreigners approach other cultures in the post-Internet age.
Inspired by Montesquieu's "Persian letters", the bodies of work takes the opposit approach to explore how cultural clichés and over-simplifications are formed, disseminated and perpetuated at a time were personal travelers blogs, colorful edited Instagram posts have replaced formal tourists guides as we all become virtual receivers and emitters of information.
The work was created during a one month residency in Tehran in the Spring 2016. Kosmatopoulos took the Iranian society and her personal experience living in it as a case in point. She defined a list of historical, cultural and economical stereotypes of how Iranian culture is perceived abroad - be it thru the mosaics of its historical monuments, the Persian carpets sold in the bazar, or the commodities exported abroad - and accumulated photographs that would emphasize these clichés. These raw images genuinely snapped during her daily explorations of the city, were then virtually transformed - beautified with photo editing filters and watermarked with an image of the shadow of my hand holding the phone - before being posted online on social media platforms where the validity of the message they conveyed was determined by the number of anonymous approvals (or "likes"), these images received.
2016 “Comment peut-on être #Persan”, KARA Award final project presentation, Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, Iran