Nasseri, TimoBorn 1972, Germany
Lives in Berlin, Germany
IN THE GALLERY
Mimikry depicts a large group of Pakistani men looking out toward the photographer, sitting on a small hill in a rural, mountainous landscape. They echo the shape of a huge mountain in the background, forming a strong image of unity and strength. The photograph evokes a whole art history of representations of the “body politic,” from Abraham Bosse’s Leviathan frontispiece to Mount Rushmore. It also has the potential to confront the viewer with a range of prejudices about the Muslim world that are constantly reinforced within Western media and culture.
There are more layers. The Pakistani men are watching a game of polo, which, while popularized by the British, is derived from the princes of the Tibeto-Burman kingdom of Manipur (now a state in India), who played the game while they were in exile in India sometime between 1819 and 1826. The work thus alludes to a complex history of colonization and emigration, where exclusion from the sanctified brand “democracy” has been the norm.