Das kleine Schwarze, 2003 - 2005

Das kleine Schwarze, 2003-2005
by Iranian artist Shahram Entekhabi examines the intersection of Western beauty industry propaganda and the oppressive treatment of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Acrylics and permanent marker on fashion advertisement (series of 10 posters) Dimensions: 180 x 120 cm

Das kleine Schwarze by Shahram Entekhabi is a profound and thought-provoking series of artworks that confronts two distinct yet interconnected issues—women's oppression in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the manipulative power of the Western beauty industry. Through the artist's skilled use of acrylics and permanent marker on fashion advertisements, a fusion of Iranian culture, Western fashion imagery, and socio-political commentary emerges, inviting viewers to engage in a deeper exploration of these complex topics.

Entekhabi's artistic intervention revolves around the act of covering the female figures in the advertisements with the black veil, symbolizing the coercive veiling imposed on women in conservative Islamic societies. By disrupting the glossy and idealized imagery, the artist challenges societal norms and prompts a critical examination of the oppressive realities faced by women in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Simultaneously, this visual disruption exposes the power dynamics embedded within the Western beauty industry, where women are objectified and manipulated through marketing strategies..

Through the juxtaposition of these two themes, Das kleine Schwarze compels viewers to question the parallels between the control and marginalization of women in different cultural contexts. By intertwining the critique of women's oppression in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the critique of the Western beauty industry, Entekhabi highlights the complex interplay of power, gender, and cultural influences within our globalized society.

From an art historical and critical perspective, Das kleine Schwarze embodies the artist's profound engagement with socio-political themes. Entekhabi's masterful technique and conceptual approach challenge viewers to confront their preconceived notions and contemplate the ethics of consumerism, the impact of media manipulation, and the enduring struggle for women's rights and autonomy.

This series transcends traditional artistic boundaries and positions itself as a catalyst for dialogue and introspection. Through its fusion of aesthetics and critical analysis, Das kleine Schwarze invites viewers to delve into the multifaceted dimensions of gender, culture, and power dynamics, offering a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by women and the complex forces that shape their experiences.

Das kleine Schwarze appeared at the following exhibitions among others:
2018: FACELESS, Curator: Bogomir Doringer, Elisabeth Hajek and Esther Brandl, Austrian Cultural Forum, Berlin, Germany
2014: Faceless an exhibition on seduction, surveillance and privacy, Mediamatic, Mediamatic, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2013: Faceless, curated by Bogomir Doringer, freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL, Vienna, Austria
2011: White Lies and Some Promises, AB Projects, Zürich, Switzerland (solo show)
2008: Mahrem - Footnotes on Veiling, Footnotes on Veiling — Tanas - Space for contemporary Turkish art, Berlin, Germany (closes down 3 Nov. 2013)
2008: Mahrem – Anmerkungen zum Schleier — Kunsthalle Vienna, Project Space, Vienna, Austria (catalogue)
2007: Modern, Islamic Veiling and Secular Imaginaries — santralistanbul, Istanbul - Turkey (catalogue)