Veil III

Veil III
signed, titled, numbered and dated '12/20 Veil III Rashid Rana 2004' (on a label affixed to the reverse)
digital chromogenic print mounted on Diasec
20 x 20 in. (50.8 x 50.8 cm.)
Executed in 2004; number 12 from an edition of 20
Wedel Fine Art, London
Private Collection, Italy
Sotheby's London, 11 February 2010, lot 295
Rashid Rana: Identical Views, exhibition catalogue, Mumbai, 2004, pp. 25-26 (another from the edition illustrated)
The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, exhibition catalogue, London, 2010, p. 87 (another from the edition illustrated)
Rashid Rana, Chatterjee & Lal and Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, 2010, pp. 46-47 (another from the edition illustrated)
New Delhi, Nature Morte, Rashid Rana: Identical Views, 2004 (another from the edition)
Mumbai, Chatterjee & Lal, Rashid Rana: Identical Views, February, 2005 (another from the edition)
New York, Bose Pacia, Rashid Rana: Identical Views, July-August, 2005 (another from the edition)
London, Wedel Fine Art, Face East: Contemporary Asian Portraiture, 2007-2008 (another from the edition)
London, Saatchi Gallery, The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, 2010 (another from the edition)

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Damian Vesey
Damian Vesey

Lot Essay

Lahore based Rashid Rana is one of Pakistan's most celebrated contemporary artists and has constinstenly enjoyed international exposure. In 2011-2012 his first UK solo show Rashid Rana: Everything is Happening at Once was included in the Asia Triennial at the Cornerhouse in Manchester and subsequently at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham. Acclaimed for his mosaics of miniature photographic images, Veil III is instantly recognizable. The Veil series is, "a stunning fusion of female stereotypes from east and west." (K. Singh, 'meaning, in its fragments', Rashid Rana, Mumbai, 2010, p. 27) The trope of the veiled woman has been a perennial muse for artists especially in Orientalism, however with the Veil series, Rana questions the representation and perception of these tropes through ironic juxtapositions.
Rana subverts the traditional portrait format by depicting a woman who is in fact actively concealing her face. Looking closer at this depiction of a veiled woman reveals that it is constructed from a jigsaw of pornographic material sourced from the internet. Referencing the readymade/found image ad absurdum, Rana offers an acutely paradoxical juxtaposition constructing out of pornographic 'pixels' this veiled model of modesty. When looked at holistically the component images blur into one in which, "The thousands of naked women are as depersonalized as the women behind the veil. Ultimately both kinds of women disappear."(K. Singh, 'meaning, in its fragments', Rashid Rana, Mumbai, 2010, p. 28)
"Rana seems to call attention to the dehumanizing of women under orthodox Islam, more so as the veils we see in these images are the 'shuttlecock burqas' that come to symbolize the place of women in the Afghan Taliban Regime." (K. Singh, 'meaning, in its fragments', Rashid Rana, Mumbai, 2010, p. 27). In essence, through this sardonic and salacious composite collage of downloaded digital images, Rana creates a paradigm of perceptions, through which he examines the symbolism and iconography of the veil in the context of women and social status and its relationship to Islam.

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