MEHMET, 2005, photography

video still

Mehmet (my "Super Heros")
2006, photography, 200 x 145 cm.
Photographer: Oli Keinath


Semiotics of a Migrant Man Located in Germany


Doris Berger

Shahram Entekhabi, who has been living in Germany since 1983. In 2004, with the video work “i?”, began a series about the conceptual and visual figure of the migrant. Structurally, “i?” followed the pattern of an older film, which Entekhabi had associated with his perspective as a migrant....
In all (my "Super Heros") works, the figure retains his suitcase as an “accessory”, whereby the rose disappears. The suitcase is a symbol of travel, of the transfer between cultures, but it should also be seen as a container for personal objects; in it, these are able to move across times, spaces and cultures. In a similar way to Charlie Chaplin’s cane, or to the umbrella in Jacques Tati’s films, the suitcase in Entekhabi’s works is an object which – as a result of its design – may be attributed to a bygone era. In this sense, I interpret the suitcase as a characterising symbol of the figure of the migrant. Entekhabi’s alter ego adopts the role of a social outsider, whose appearance and actions mean that he does not fit into the context of pragmatic, everyday events. In this respect, too, Entekhabi’s figure may be compared with the alter egos of Chaplin and Tati, who stand out visually as a consequence of their old-fashioned clothing and accessories, emphasising their difference to the dominant social environment. The Duden defines the expression alter ego as “the other, the second ego” but also as a “very close friend”. In film and literature, the concept is often used for a second personality adopted by an individual; one that usually displays different character traits to the actual, the “real ego”. The alter ego of the guest-worker offers Entekhabi the possibility to relate changes in the world of work to his own experiences as a migrant in Germany.
But it is no longer possible to restrict the development of migration to a few ethnic groups, and the social picture in Germany has become more complex and varied, together with the accompanying prejudices and clichéd notions concerning individual cultures. Shahram Entekhabi reflects on this by differentiating his figure of the migrant far more, abandoning his alter ego. In the most recent video works “Miguel”, “Mehmet” and “Mladen”, or also in “Islamic Star” (all 2005), the artist slips into a range of different male roles and ethnic backgrounds; usually within an urban environment. The first names in the titles already point to different origins, which Entekhabi expounds with his now constantly changing outfit and behaviour.   
Text: Doris Berger
Senior Director of Curatorial Affairs of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures , Los Angeles, California, USA Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Mehmet (my "Super Heros") appeared at the following exhibitions:
2011: They Go Bang Bang in my Head — AARAN Gallery, Tehran, Iran (solo show)
2004: “i?” — PLAY Gallery for Still and Motion Pictures, Berlin (solo show)

Mehmet (my "Super Heros") appeared at the following publications:
2008: One person’s Trash is another Person’s Treasure, book by Shahram Entekhabi
From “the book by” series of Fine Arts Unternehmen Books AG.
Codes: ISBN-10 3-03720-010-3 , ISBN-13 978-3-03720-010-0 , EAN 9783037200100

Eremde Männer : Männlichkeit und Ethniziät – Other Men
2007: kritische berichte Heft 4
Sabine Kampmann und Alexandra Karentzos
Jonas Verlag / kritische bericht

انتخابی هنرش را به عنوان تنها قلمرو ابراز وجود و تنها بستر قدرت‏ساز برگزیده. او ویدئوهای ساخته شده در فضاهایشهری غربی را در برابر انسان غربی که همواره با بی اعتنایی از کنار شخصیت های اصلی اش گذاشته اند قرار داده و آنها را وادار به دیدن کرده است. ویدئویی چهارگانه از انتخابی، شخصیت های بازنمایی شده از مردان مهاجری، از اقلیت های دینی و حزبی و نژادی به نام های ملادن ( از مجرمان بالکان)، ستاره اسلامی (مسلمانی افراط گرا)، محمت (عضوی از گروه کارگران کُرد) را در فضاهای عمومی پرتردد شهری نشان می دهد. ملادن با القای حس برتری جنسیتی خود، سعی در ایجاد رعب و وحشت و جلب توجه در معابر عمومی دارد. ستاره اسلامی تسبیح زنان و بی هدف در خیابان پرسه می زند و به قصد دیده شدن در مکان هایی نامناسب توقف می کند؛ و محمت به ستوه آمده از فرط تنگناهای موجود، تن به خودسوزی در ملاعام می دهد. تنها شخصیت به تصویر در آمده در محیط بسته میگوئل5 (پارتیزانی غیرنظامی) است که با نگاه خیره به دوربین و خنده های فزاینده قصد گمراه کردن و استهزای برداشت احتمالی بیننده از هر حرکت وی به عنوان پیش درآمد عملی تروریستی دارد. حرف «م» مشترک در اول اسامی آنها دلالتگر کلماتی است که درون مایه آثار انتخابی را تشکیل می دهند: مردانگی، مسلمان، مهاجر، میدل ایست (خاورمیانه) ماینوریتی (اقلیت) و میمیکری -همگونی

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.