72 "Virgins" / Berlin, December, 2009
Performance in the framework of the Taswir exhibition- Martin-Gropius-Bau
The performance 72 "Virgins" by the Iranian artist Shahram Entekhabi has a similarity to a Flashmob action.
It starts at The Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin). The artist Entekhabi and 72 individuals characterised as "virgins" and dressed in black, meet there to walked to the Martin-Gropius-Bau.
Similar to Shahram Entekhabis previous projects, the "72 Virgins" performance project features the artist Shahram Entekhabi deconstructing the stereotype of The Other, migrant foreigners and those on the periphery of society. In doing so, 72 "Virgins" highlights the clichés about Muslims by casting a critical view to notions of masculinity. It also questions the ideals and realities of roles and promises as (mis)interpreted and instrumentalized by ideology, religious discourse and society to rally and recruit people for political gain. Indeed, circles within contemporary Islamic debate claim that this practice has no authenticity and is constantly contended. The project also engages in a critical, albeit humorous, view of rites of passage like marriage which usually takes place between birth and death. However for martyrs, their marriage (to 72 virgins) takes place after death.
72 "Virgins" offers a tongue-in-cheek view of the establishment of knowledge. Here, it might be possible or the Jewish/Christian Western male to consider reaching 72 virgins in paradise as a form of religious sacrifice and honour, due to ones innate sexual desires and wishes as well as the rich sexual imagery rooted in Judeo-Christian traditions.
Projektkoordination: Hella Gerlach
Supported by Allianz Kulturstiftung
With friendly support of kunstbeuroberlin and Berlin State Library
شهرام انتخابی 尚莱姆_恩特卡比
Shahram Entekhabi is an German-Iranian- artist, curator & architect, currently living & working across Tehran, Iran - Berlin, Germany and Europe.