INSTANCES OF ORIENTALISM
Instances of Orientalism examines the world through an Orientalist gaze. Ignoring the original geographic implications of the Orient I hope to distill a way of seeing which shares the amalgamated sense of wonder and misinformed awe of the original Orientalist movement. Many of the photographs look directly at contemporary references to traditional Orientalism but the images begin to drift off confusing our sense of the Orient and allowing a viewer to being to construct his or her own sense of wonder and otherness in the world. The great symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud wrote in his seminal poem ‘A Season in Hell’ “You are a Western man, but quite free to live in your Orient, as old a one as you want... and to live in it as you like” Rimbaud understood the Orient to be any metaphysical place which edits a fantasy out of the real world. These photographs are of the real world but about another more mystical space. The images look as though they have magically appeared in front of you – like a message in a crystal ball – as though you have been seized by a vision of great mystical import but slightly amorphous meaning.