Thursday, December 17, 2009

Princess Hijab and the Veiled Threat

I just read a really interesting article about “the elusive guerrilla artist known as Princess Hijab.” I have to admit I had never heard of her before and I’m quite late to the game. I am a sucker for street art with political overtones though so Princess Hijab has really snagged my interest.

Since PH is anonymous, there is more speculation then real facts out there but the project itself is worth contemplating. PH has been basically "hijab-izing" Parisian ads and claims, "I’m an advertising hijabist. In other words, I cover all advertising with a black veil, which is a dark symbol, a reference on pop culture, and a way to hide elegantly advertising. It is also a study on territories and identities."

Here is part of an interview I thought was interesting:
WOOSTER: Why did you choose the subject matter you did?

PRINCESS HIJAB: 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. I've also found that my media, guerrilla art, presents a mystery and an impishness consistently missing from serious discourses on the hijab. The terms "hijabizing" or "hijabism" continue to define my work.

W: Why did you choose the specific placement?

PH: I use the subway for the same reason the advertisers do: It's a place where the whole city is a captive audience.

W: What do you think your piece adds to or subtracts from to the community?

PH: I think my work might add to the intellectual dialogue on advertising, but I aim for the guttural response. My "desecration" elevates the models back to being people, and when the skin sticks to the pleather, that's the smile and the disgust that I can get out of people.

I don’t really know what to think to be honest; part of that has to do with the fact that I haven’t fully formed my opinion on hijab yet, and another part is because I’m not sure about Princess Hijab’s intentions. Is the message is supposed to be anti-consumerism or something else? Is it about using our bodies to sell goods? No matter what the message is, it definitely gets us to stop and think.

And I guess that’s ultimately the point.

So check out the article if you're interested and you can see Princess Hijab's website here.

1 comment:

  1. An fascinating discussion is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers
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