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Melody For A Harem Girl By The Sea, 2023

Anna Ehrenstein’s work is as much an ode to the muslim femme cyborg as it is auto-biographical. Sparked by the delusion of solidarity through networked protests in the West after the Iranian 'Woman, life, freedom!' demonstrations in 2022, she materialized her orientalist avatar she uses in physical and virtual performances.

The symbol of the veil is often employed in her work as a metaphoric screen for the political projections muslim femmes reflect back towards multiple patriarchies. "Projection Screens reflect the projected image from a projector and make it visible." Part of her research on networked images and the processes of “mattering”; processes that fold matter upon meaning within our ever more intensely medialized societies; she juxtaposed imagery from 18th century French Orientalist painting to snippets from contemporary US-american “hijab porn”.

The short video work looped within the hijabs phone traces the historical roots of present day algorithmic constructions of power and contrasts it with the queer gender ideals of the 13th century sufi poet Ibn Arabi. Photographs of women used to justify Western imperialism in the Middle East are placed in proximity with text and imagery of female muslim academics. A long history of women’s achievements within the Islamic world is shown in the figure of Fatima al-Fihri – the founder of al-Qarawiyyin in 859 A.D. in the city of Fez, which today is considered the oldest university in the world. Fatima’s figure is presented as an amulet against the evil eye and the weaponization of the muslim femme cyborg, by the will of God.

Anna Ehrenstein, Melody For A Harem Girl By The Sea, 2023, 3D print, phone and flip flop paint, 60 x 40 x 40 cm, video, color, sound, 4:09 min, looped, ​​​​​​​edition of 3 + 2AP
Anna Ehrenstein, Melody For A Harem Girl By The Sea, 2023, 3D print, phone and flip flop paint, 60 x 40 x 40 cm, video, color, sound, 4:09 min, looped, ​​​​​​​edition of 3 + 2AP

3D print, phone and flip flop paint
60 x 40 x 40 cm
Video, color, sound, 4:09 min, looped
Edition of 3 + 2AP

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Anna Ehrenstein

Anna Ehrenstein works in transdisciplinary artistic practice with an emphasis on research and mediation. She is using print, video, installation, social moments or sculpture to reverberate the intersections and divergences of high and low cultures and their socio-economic and bio-political constitutions. Born in Germany with Albanian heritage and raised between the two cultures, realities and reflections around migration-related visual culture, diasporic narrations, networked images and the class hierarchy of pixels form main foci due to her own intercultural experiences.

She has been awarded with different prizes such as the Talent Award of c/o Berlin in 2020, the Prix Prictet, the NRW.BANK Kunstpreis, the Förderpreis KHM in 2019, the Fondation des Treilles in 2018 and her first ever prize being the Landskrona Portfolio Price in 2017. She has held solo exhibitions at Stadtgalerie, Saarbrücken (2022), Tools for Conviviality, c/o Berlin (2021), Francisco Carolinum, Linz (2021), Gold & Beton, Cologne (2020). Her work has been included in exhibitions at international institutions such as Kunstmuseum Wolgsburg (2022), Kunsthalle Osnabrpck (2022), 6th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg (2022), MgbK, Leipzig (2019), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2019), Museum Folkwang, Essen (2018).



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