03.02.2006 - 13.05.2006
The works Yara El-Sherbini presents in her first solo exhibition rely heavily on humour, and are far from politically correct. With the characteristic defiance of youth, Yara’s artistic discourse homes in on so called "sensitive issues", and invites the viewer to temporarily suspend disengagement.
|As one of the most bold and intellectually provocative artists emerging onto the UK arts scene in 2005, Yara El-Sherbini has generated equal amounts of praise for her challenging approach, and criticism for her audacity to express what some viewers have interpreted as anger towards The West.
The truth is, that while her works can provoke laughter (this was the intention with which they were created) they leave a sediment of unease and discomfort for all viewers, admirers and detractors included.
Yara uses different artistic mechanisms (video, photography, text, sculpture, etc…) as a means of inviting her audience to take another look at the idiosyncrasies of contemporary society… to have the audacity to think again.
… And so, when the laughter wears off, you are left chomping on a new thought, and what you do with it is entirely up to you.
Should I be laughing at this?... is what most people wonder when confronted with Yara El-Sherbini’s work.
PC (political correctness) as a cultural phenomenon which has taught us to repress our reactions to “The Other” in case we offend, is a major consideration in our society. Although in theory it’s been designed to generate a climate of tolerance and respect in a world full of diversity; in practice it often acts as a device for systematically disengaging ourselves from certain “issues”, leaving us with “taboo subjects” which block our freedom to respond naturally. We refrain from questioning and entering into a dialogue… we stop thinking.
The works Yara El-Sherbini presents in her first solo exhibition rely heavily on humour, and are far from politically correct. With the characteristic defiance of youth, Yara’s artistic discourse homes in on so called “sensitive issues”, and invites the viewer to temporarily suspend disengagement.
Laughter is a reaction we have when we “get it”, when we suddenly become aware of the incongruity and utter absurdity of a situation.
This is how Yara uses humour, not as a device to ridicule, attack, or criticize, but as a method of engagement, a device to provoke her audience to take another look at the idiosyncrasies of contemporary society … to have the audacity to engage with “difficult “ issues and to think again.