The double-piece, titled “Perspectives”, was a test on the public’s reception of art and artists in the Middle East, as well as a question on its view on the naked body. The piece played on the contrast that is established between the “unholy” body of a female bellydancer and the “holy” Quran.

The text featured in this piece is in fact an Ottoman poem, written in the same font and style as the Quran. That, however, did not occur to most viewers, which resulted in a wide outcry against the artist, extending to private racist attacks and even death threats.

The conclusion was that the majority of people view artists solely as creators of entertainment and that, when it contradicts or criticizes their opinions and beliefs, they block any chance to observe the work and allow it to expand beyond its entertainment purposes. Apparently most viewers of that piece did not even realize that the text was a poem and that, technically, they should not be offended. The piece also showed, but may have failed to explain, that the naked body, particularly of a female, is viewed as impure, and that what stand between it and a holy text are some clothes.

One of “Perspectives” main conclusions is that people can easily be tricked into thinking they are victims – or not – and can never actually prove why in each scenario.

Perspectives (full)