More from the key master

“No one could be better placed than Aman Mojadidi to disentangle the connections, contradictions and interdependencies between politics and culture. A day of dazzling sunlight and a gangsta rap soundtrack provided the background to our meeting with Mojadidi in his studio in Kabul, where he has lived since 2004 after growing up in the United States. Mojadidi is a sarcastic and debunking artist whose work springs from a combination of ethno-anthropological studies, do-it-yourself and the aesthetics of found objects. Together with a good measure of (self-) irony, this combination prompts him to say that his art successfully captures the worst of the two worlds to which he belongs. In no uncertain terms, Mojadidi declares that a careful examination of the Afghan situation reveals that the former colonial powers are today dressed in the clothes of financiers and humanitarian agencies vowed to development. He denounces what he defines as a “conflict chic” tendency whereby war zones, for miscellaneous artists and cultural activists, offer a source of inspiration and a possible route to fame. With a hit-and-run attitude, these artists pounce to take home ideas and adventures, leaving behind nothing but another scar, yet another sign of exploitation. Aman Mojadidi sees creative practices as a means to participate in the political debate through the oblique languages of irony and bewilderment. The internal violence and corruption that undermine the foundations of a country in a process of transformation occupy a pivotal position in the development of his work. Conflict Bling (2009) and the mock campaign of a Jihadi Gangster during the parliamentary elections of 2010 are two examples of the mixture of political and cultural provocation which, with wry laughter, stimulate the necessity for discussion regarding the possible futures of Afghanistan beyond international intervention.” 

Francesca Recchia and Lorenzo Tugnoli, Creative KabulDomus 953, December 2011.

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