Foreign shadow

2016

c-print photographs, postcard rack

size variable

About

Foreign shadow 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 and TripAdvisor comments 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. 

In the installation space, the 150 digitally modified images are printed on glossy postcard paper and  casually spread on the floor around a postcard rack. In a world where images are replacing words and social media posts have taken over personal letters, the postcard rack is left empty, looking irrelevant in the middle of a sea of instantly consumable and disposable images. 

Exhibition

2017    "The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualities" curated by Dr. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci  /

             Nikki Petroni and Melanie Erixon  /  APS Mdina Biennale  /  Mdina, Malta

2016    "Borderless: In Perspective" curated by David C. Terry  /  Lite-Haus Galerie  /  Berlin, Germany

2016    “Comment peut-on être #Persan”, KARA Award final project presentation, Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, Iran