In ART
In a nod to the world’s hottest storytelling platform – Pecha Kucha or “show and tell” – Selections has asked a number of artists and designers to talk about a specific project through imagery and an economy of words. The result is a simple yet engaging and visually captivating tale that sheds light upon the work whilst providing insights into the life and personal thoughts of each featured artist and designer. Passion and knowledge all wrapped into one.

Kazim Rashid is a British born, Muslim artist and filmmaker living in London and Berlin. His work challenges the assumptions made about the world we live in. Underpinned by a commitment to subversive characters, narrative, representation and visual language he seeks to defy expectations around identity, thought, experience, and faith. Having cut his teeth in the music industry working with artists and record labels such as Warp Records, his work remains committed to this foundation resulting in a form, which treads the lines between documentary, music, video and video installation. Rashid endeavors to force the viewer to confront their own ideas on truth and lies – seeking solace within both sides of the paradigm. As a consultant and creative director his clients span music, fashion and publishing including Adidas, Channel 4, Business of Fashion, Highsnobiety, Warp records, Carhartt and many more.


THE FEAR OF FEMININE ENERGY

I STOOD STILL AND WATCHED, PARALYSED BY THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD AROUND ME, VIEWING ON SCREEN, TVS AND FEEDS. THE GROTESQUE FACES OF MEN, REDDENED BY THEIR ADDICTION TO POWER AND MONEY AND DESTRUCTION. I TRIED TO MAKE SENSE OF THEIR MOTIVES. WHAT REALLY DID THEY HATE SO MUCH, THAT IT DROVE THIS TOXIC ANNIHILATION OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IN THEIR PATH? AS ANDRE3000 ONCE SAID, “WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?”

In the SCUM Manifesto (1967) Valerie Solanas wrote:

“The male is completely egocentric, trapped inside himself, incapable of empathising or identifying with others, or love, friendship, affection of tenderness. His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral, his intelligence is a mere tool in the services of his drives and needs, he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction, he can’t relate to anything other than his own physical sensations. He is half-dead… the male attains to masterfulness by the manipulation of money and everything controlled by money, in other words, of everything and everybody.”

In 2003 scientist Glenn Albrecht coined the term Anthropocene to describe “the dawn of a new age in which human impact has become the dominant force shaping our world.” It went on to describe how the human influence on the planet is so “profound – and terrifying – it will leave its legacy for millennia.” Never will the world be the same again, and it is evident and in keeping with Solanas’ theory that it’s exclusively through the bad decisions, indulgence and greed of mankind. The 7.6 billion [and counting] people on earth represent just 0.01% of all living things, yet since the dawn of civilisation somehow we have caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants. Of that 0.01% there are 1% of people profiting from prisons, the planet’s resources and wars, with at least 108 million people having been killed in wars in the 20th century. The so-called half-dead man has led humanity into an ecosystem for survival based entirely on individualism, capitalism and greed.

Shiva without Shakti is a corpse. In ancient Hindu scriptures, Shiva/Shakti dualism is communicated through the image of Ardhanarishvara – the half man, half woman god. They represent the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies and the search for divinity. Similarly in ancient Chinese Taoist cosmology, the yin-yang symbol represents ancient feminine and masculine energies whose synergy gave birth to the world as we know it. According to Sufi masters, human beings alone, in all of creation, have been given the capacity to be able to manifest the 99 names and attributes of God, which are both equally feminine and masculine.

These ancient scriptures and theory understand that masculine and feminine energy are inseparable. Only when these energies are in harmony can a divine state be reached. Yet today, from East to West the woman is exoticised, vilified and excluded whilst at the same time worshipped, adored and exalted – all the while “othered.” Very rarely is she free. The male cannot see her beyond his gaze. The male cannot handle the female as she is a mirror to his insides. She represents 50% of him – the half of which he is most afraid. For if he were to stop objectifying her, he would have to embrace that part of him of which he is most afraid. The half-dead man is afraid of his own reflection.

“THE HALF DEAD MAN
IS AFRAID OF HIS
OWN REFLECTION”

Kazim Rashid, Nothing Looks The Same at Night, 2019, video still.
All images are courtesy of The Third Line.


A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, SHOW & TELL #51 PAGES 82-85.

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