Historically woman has been symbolized as a fertility symbol, slave to her desires  and burdened with the responsibility of giving birth. Society has reduced her status  to that of a servant. Master and slave are also linked by a reciprocal economic need that does not free the slave. That is, in the master-slave relation, the master does  not posit the need he has for the other; he holds the power to satisfy this need and does not mediate it; the slave, on the other hand, out of dependence, hope, or fear, internalizes his need for the master; however equally compelling the need may be to  them both, it always plays in favor of the oppressor over the oppressed. Now, woman has always been, if not man’s slave, at least his vassal; the two sexes have never divided the world up equally; and still, today, even though her condition is changing, woman is heavily handicapped. This is evident in the fact that no sizeable  event has occurred in history to ensure women’s reproductive rights and inheritance rights globally and this is a result of confusion between religion and norms regarding woman’s body that is all written and propagated from a man’s perspective which causes women to give in to being complacent. “One is not born, but rather becomes (a) woman,” Simone De Beauvoir     Woman has been linked with the earth and with darkness. She is a symbol of death and regeneration. Man has always been conditioned to consider himself as one, his failures are his alone, whereas a woman’s failures belong to the whole society. Man dreams of the other not only to possess her but also to be validated by her. She is the object on whom he can impose his values and laws, uniting himself with this  other, whom he makes his own, he hopes to reach himself. Man seeks himself entirely in her and because she is All. But she is all in that is inessential: she is wholly the other. And as the other, she is also other than herself, other than what is expected of her. Being all, she is never exactly ‘this’ that she should be; she is an everlasting disappointment, the very disappointment of existence that never successfully attains or reconciles itself with the totality of existents.   1 In this exhibition, we celebrate this otherness which has been the fate of the second sex. We question the various notions of self-pride associated with women.
 1.This essay is a homage to Simone de Beauvoir. 
Man has  attributed women with their social vanity to preside domination over her. Inheritance  laws of the other, including intersex, have been subjected to oppression and where there is oppression there is war. Women are still the subject of psychological,  ethical, religious and moral dilemmas over how they dress, present themselves, behave, etiquette, marriage, relationships, childbirth, abortion, are among a few. Women of the Middle East and Southeast Asia are revolting in their own way to gain  freedom. They express themselves strikingly and are bold in spite of living in relatively extremist societies. They are not creating art for Western attention, they are also producing art that is globally recognized and is no way inferior to any western artist. Due to globalization, the Middle Eastern woman is not just living in  the confines of a home but they are fighting in their own way to achieve equality but what is not portrayed in most exhibitions in the West in relation to women of the East just to cash in on the remnants of Western Imperialism. We start off with Jazayeri’s Mirror Garden series which is very inviting and colorful, symbolizing the poetry of Ahmed Shamloo in figures and symbols from Persian  Miniature paintings. Her painting allows the viewer to look into their inner world in search of a bud awaiting irrigation to a newer self. In her work human and nature is one. They are always in a metamorphosis state of creating and becoming anew. She brings together Zoroastrian and other mythological stories as the theme so as to aspire the modern to connect with his inner creative world and to feel alive and  find the meaning of life, death, and immortality. The Second room questions and critiques society about the rights of women in patriarchy. Her work explores themes around and in relation to women, from one hand objectified by the power dynamics, of the phallocentric cultural, social, political fantasy. On the other hand, it presents a visual language experienced through a woman’s perspective. Marquise’s work depicts Ali Qapu’s Palace in Iran which has hollow walls that  allow great acoustics and no sound goes unnoticed and naked disfigured women. The symbol of a nonsexualized figure of a woman is a comment on the way society generalizes standards of beauty. A heavy woman has almost no value and therefore her opinion doesn’t matter but in this palace even her voice is important. With her bold symbology, and images from popular culture, she juxtaposes banal elements of culture and tradition. Her works are ironic and a revolt to end inequality of the Other. 
Sidra Ashraf
March.2020, Berlin 

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