Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Princess Hijab: French Guerrilla Artist of Anti-Advertisement

La Métropolitain.  A sub-terranean labyrinth of solitary people.  
La Métropolitain. Paris Sub-Conscious Realm, ruled by an anonymous graffiti artist:  Princess Hijab (PH).
Just like one of Stan Lee's Super-Heroine, she is concealing her secret identity in a distinctive costume:  a colorful djellaba covering her body. Its hood hiding her face. Long black gloves with acid green fingernails. Holding a black ink marker. Ready to go. 
Her Mission? Hijabize Advertisement, namely, paint Niqabs and Burqas on the glamorous faces of advertisements characters. DOLCE & GABBANA men. L' OREAL Kate Moss. No one is spared! But why did she choose the Veil?

Actually, PH de-contextualizes  Niqabs and Burqas form their religious and gender-related environment, trasforming them into means of protest against consumerism. Makes me think about the work done by the Canadian culture jammers known as AdBusters, when they say: 
"Consumerism is the new patriarchy. The beauty industry is the beast. Advertising constrains the horizon of female aspirations, gendering their dreams before they’re hatched. Girls, even when they are still a fetus in the womb, are the target of an unrelenting image assault. Pretty little girls is what this society wants and it gets it through a flood of erotically charged marketing that propagandizes half the population, and their parents, to sexualize femininity at an early age. Of course, boys get the message too. But their assigned role is as the aggressor party. Girls, on the other hand, are told that weak and vulnerable is sexy."
Thus, I guess the point is the following: stop being a passive consumer of lifestyles and identities. Men and Women Out There. Start looking inside Your-Self. Find your identity. 
Know Thy-Self!
Again, But why did she choose the Veil?

“Guerrilla art is innocent and criminal, ancient and dystopian, intimate and political. I chose the veil because it does what art should do: It challenges, it frightens, and it re-imagines,” PH answered in a recent interview to THE INDEPENDENT

Naturally, PH disruptive visual language is challenging the status quo. 
Actually, Guerrilla Art is about shock and awe, uh?

“Some say I am pro-feminist, some say I am antifeminist; some say I am pro-Islam, others that I am anti-Islam. It’s all very interesting—but at the end of the day, I am above all an artist.”- she stated ( interview )

Whatever your opinion, Be Brave. Meet the Challenge...

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