Pop-Up at WMG
Art is spontaneous. Art should be free. World Money Gallery has embraces pop-up art culture - visual, musical, experimental. Reach out if you want to organize a pop up event with us.
Blingistan Pop-Up Shop & Brand Launch
March 16-18, 2017
Blingistan is a journey to make meaning of oneself trying to navigate what is real and what is not real although assumed as real, and how the two affect the conscious and self-conscious. Shamayel Shalizi's Blingistan is a multi-faceted exhibition exploring the Muslim identity in diaspora. In an alien environment, identity engages culture in fragmented and decontextualized sense-making process; the body becomes the primitive but so real gateway to understanding oneself. But what is the body? The Muslim body hidden behind the burqa? The Afghan body torn by war? The immigrant body always seen as immigrant by others? The female body fetishized and full of contradictions? What is my own body to me if not somebody else's reflection on it? It is a sexual vessel and a vessel of life, a symbol of confirmation to society through processes of beautification.
What is my body if not the body of my mother and not the body of my grandmother? It is a mystical connection, which Shamayel explores in her and mothers' portrait series. It looks like the two women dressed in white shirts and with the same hair due would merge into one with the portrait of jesus overlooking them in the background.
Shamayel explores the relationship between the body and culture, and the body and the other's relation to it, with sense emerging somewhere in between through photos and jewelry.
Interview with the artist
Your art and jewelry line focus on identity, both how others perceive you and how you perceive yourself. What reactions do you hope to get from people seeing your work?
Darling I'd hardly say it's a new way! Many others have done it before me, and much better but reaction wise, I hope people can identify with my "identity crisis" as I call it, or they can learn from it whether it's about identity as an abstract concept, or more about Afghanistan, or about being a woman. For example, I thought it was so fascinating that so many men came up to me during the show asking if the text message series were true. No woman asked if it was true because they already know it's true.
What do you think of the jewelry scene at the moment, why does the world need Blingistan?
Hahah the world needs Blingistan because I want a buy my mama a mansion! The jewelry scene, hmm, to be honest, I think right now it is very big. With the internet, Etsy, Depop, you can make your own jewelry and sell it. I will always love my cheap jewelry from Slauson Super Mall and Santee Alley in LA.
Your photographs are pretty sexual. What makes sex a good subject matter?
Well sex is provocative, intriguing, and that thing we all think about but just aren't 100% open about. I don't know if sex is a good subject matter- but in my work it's necessary? If that makes sense. I want to be open.
You had a series with your grandma as part of the art show. What would she think of it?
To be honest, she probably wouldn't understand why people would want to see photos of her in her day-to-day life, especially because she was constantly yelling at me when I was taking the photos. I don't know if she would understand the "high-brownness" of a gallery, of displaying "art", ya know? No matter if she's grimacing through some of the photos, I think she'd still be proud of me that I'm doing something that makes me happy.
What are you reading right now?
Ah!!! I read different genres of books simultaneously, which drives my boyfriend crazy. I am reading Carrie Fisher's "Postcards from the Edge", Nietzche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" and Laurie Cabot's "The Witch in Every Woman".
What's next for Blingistan, what's going to influence next seasons collection?
You'll just have to wait and see. I'm working with new materials, not just 24k gold. It's gonna be fun, it's gonna be unique, and it's gonna be bigger and better.