Muhiba Botan

Who or what is the ‘Other’?
And how does our perception of ‘It’ differ from the way we perceive ‘Ourselves’?
This project deconstructs the process of Othering and thereby illuminates the mythical creation of The Other. On one hand the artist portrays herself as the pineacle of the ‘perfect’ ‘Self’, the counterpart of The Other. The images are inspired by the shared cultural perception of the Self in the West, the aesthetic norms adhered to the Self and the depiction of the highest achievable form of ‘perfection’ shown in different media forms, most notably in Hollywood movies such as ‘Pleasantville’, ‘Stepford Wives’ where these iconic archetypes are pushed to the extreme. The other part of this project shows the artist as the mythical Other. Inspired by the way the ‘exotic’ Other was created through the Western gaze during the era of the human zoo’s, the artist layers absurd stereotypical images on top of eachother with the intention of deconstructing the process of Othering and illuminate the mythical creation of the Other.
“Interrogating stereotypes makes them uninhabitable, it destroys their naturalness and normality” – Stuart Hall
This project also contains a social experiment on perception. All images are self portraits, continually showing the same person over and over again. When realizing this, does that alter the perception of the viewer? Can viewers reconcile ‘both’ women as being one or is there an unconscious barrier that stops them from considering the two as one?

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