Mehmet, 2005, HD video, PAL, 01:12 min, color, sound
Through the embodiment of diverse figures in his works, Shahram Entekhabi adopts manifold attributes of an actual or presumed state of “being different”, making these visible by means of role play in public space. He uses figures that are based on stereotypical and clichיs images of immigrants, such as articles of clothing, accessories and codes of behavior. Identities that the viewer can decipher through role models from television and the media.
The images that Entekhabi uses for the figure of the migrant have a symbolic effect, and they are firmly rooted in the German cultural sphere. The artist simultaneously visualizes his position as an insider and outsider in society; a position that he often experiences in his real life as a migrant from the Middle East who has lived in Germany for more than 20 years. He thus mixes the perspectives of an identity that is encoded on the basis of several cultures; a form of identity that is becoming more and more relevant in our globalize world. In these works, Entekhabi presents the extreme protest of the immigrant (Ahmad) to the new reality that he finds himself in, where he is different, strange, and rejected by his new environment, in which he is trying to find his new future.
This is the picture of a global reality that is becoming more and more extreme as the waves of immigration to wealthy countries continues. The opposition of society to embrace the strangers who are seeking a new future in their midst comes from their fear of the stranger and the “other”, a human reaction that is buried deep in the roots of the beginnings of man.
Written, Directed and Performed by Shahram Entekhabi
Camera: Arne Hector