In the self-portrait series «LOOKING AT ME LOOKING AT YOU LOOKING AT ME», Al-Arashi confronts the viewer with the question of the relationship between image-maker and subject through the inclusion of a mirror. The artist repeatedly refers to the person behind the camera and relates this to the person in front of the camera, thus questioning her role as an image-maker. The portraits were created during a residency in Upstate New York in 2018 and are being exhibited for the first time. They raise questions about the male gaze, the sexualisation of the female body, and how we deal with our own bodies. The series consists of five self-portraits. The location of the camera remains the same, and the artist always sits in the same position. However, the images differ as the angle of the mirror that the artist holds up above her head changes in each photograph. With this small yet striking change, Al-Arashi manages to address the fine line between the reclaiming of one’s own body and sexualisation by others. By holding the mirror, it is the artist who stays in control of what the viewers see.
On view at GRISPACE 170205 in Hotel Greulich, Zürich until March 2023.