Fresh Sinezani

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Fresh Sinezani, 2007, HD video, 09:10 min, color sound

The video shows a man (the artist himself, dressed in an elegant black suit) who starts clinking a bottle of white wine together with a glass. The clinking gradually is becoming more forceful until the bottle explodes in violent fashion. Next, the man begins to beat his chest, eventually unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a large tattoo that represents the Great Seal of the United States of America. Driven on by rhythmic Islamic chants, he continues to beat his chest ever more frenetically until he reaches a state of trance. The self-punishment becomes increasingly difficult to bear, not only for the artist and performer, but also for the viewer. Fresh Sinezani abstracts traditional Shiite self-flagellation (as practiced on the Day of Ashura), a form of voluntary annual “religious penalization,” to examine the fundamental idea of deprivation within Muslim society.