Image: Shades of the Orient © Raheleh Saneie.
FULL ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN GUERILLA MAGAZINE:
SHADING THE ORIENT: FEATURE INTERVIEW WITH MULTIMEDIA ARTIST RAHELEH SANEIE // http://www.getguerilla.ca/index.php/archive-menu-item-new/120-issue-38/features-38
In the image, sterile white light floods from the left and right, framing and objectifying Saneie’s body. Apparatus supporting a black backdrop logically suggests depth, but this expression is interrupted. The dancer’s stage is not concealed; that the dancer is being photographed is brought to the foreground, making her almost incidental. Suddenly, the focus is not on the figure performing in glamorised dress, but on the viewer’s act of constructing a stereotype and submitting to the prejudices that condition the dancer’s aesthetic.
Saneie confronts cultural presumption by emphasising the surfaces in her imagery. The body becomes the language. It is difficult to see where one layer of the body is distinguished from the next in Shades of the Orient, visually prompting consideration towards intersecting forms of discrimination, oppression, and privilege.