Recognition

Recognition

2009

A performance that questions cultural misconceptions about wearing the veil.

Recognition is a performance installation about wearing the veil. Upon entering the space, viewers are asked to take a piece of cardboard with a set of instructions on them. The instructions are as follows:
‘Sometime during the viewing of the show Recognition hold the cardboard up to your face and look at the show through the cut­out figure. My hope is that because you will experience a shift in physical perspective by looking through the cardboard, you will also experience a shift in perspective about women who wear the veil.’


The installation space includes the table holding the cardboard cutouts, a series of small silhouettes of veiled women making a frieze around the space, several paintings, a projection of a poem by Judy Grahn, and a life­size paper figure on the floor. I am also present during select times in a silent performance in which I wear an abaya from Saudi Arabia.





They say she is veiled 
and a mystery.   That is 
one way of looking. 
Another 
is that she is where 
she always has been,
exactly in place, 
and it is we, 
we who are mystified, 
we who are veiled 
and without faces.

- Judy Grahn




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