It is easy to spot stereotypes, clichés and sexual roles within any kind of society. What is a lot more difficult is to meet and portray them without any judgement. This is where the work of Berlin-based artist Anahita Razmi functions as a cultural achievement, and more so: as a democratic one. One of the main topics of Razmi`s video- and performance pieces is the Middle East. Within her analysis the artist manages to avoid the moral pointing finger or the overly romanticising gesture. Instead she understands herself as a documentarian, who uses satirical moments and purposely applied contradictions to create a newly put together collage of reality.
For her piece “HERE SCRIPTS” Razmi travelled to morocco to deal with the question of what signifies the identity of a place that has none. Her destination were the Atlas Studios, a film production site in the desert of Ouarzazate outside Marrakech. Razmi discovered that the Atlas Studios have been used as a setting for oriental movies and Hollywood blockbusters for years and are thus a place of imaginary worlds that stand in no real relation to the culture of the surrounding land. In her work Razmi paired her video recordings of the site with a selection of voiced-over quotes out of the original movies that were shot at the studios. In its subtle contradictoriness the result shows that the “HERE SCRIPTS” are more “NOWHERE SCRIPTS”, as they describe a transit place whose identity dwells somewhere between the imagery of fictitious worlds and a lack of correspondence within the country’s true cultural landscape and identity.
Also the second piece within the show deals with the notion of the unseen within the visible. Razmi’s early work “China Girl” references to a rather unknown protagonist of the film world: a girl that was shown in the beginning of every analog film to mark the colograding within the test pattern. Her existence was only noticeable by the person that was playing the film but remained unknown to everybody else. While the true origin of the name “China Girl” is still unknown, Anahita Razmi creates her own connection to the Asian sphere. As she produced this work while living in China, she establishes a new locational reference that had been without context before. In her photographic work Razmi becomes the “China Girl” herself and turns into a character that is both without true origin nor story.
Similar to “HERE SCRIPTS”, “China-Girl” shows the artist’s interplay of invisibility and visibility, of identity and fiction and of alleged and personal cultural understanding while uniting clear references to the medium of film and photography.
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