Is the media image of “the Arab” a reflection of reality or do news photo-editors chose today’s images because they resemble our projected images?

Stefka Amon, known for her “My World Trade Centre” art project,  is a visual artist who loves to indulge in images of cultural projections: be it pop icons like Claudia Schiffer, Lady Diana or fictitious characters like Winnetou, chief of the Mescalero Apaches by Karl May. Her Orientalist series deals with projections on the concept of the “Oriental World”, taken from reproductions of German, Austrian, British, French and Italian Orientalist painters focussing on the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. The grid and the enlargement of the excerpt makes it impossible to tell whether these images are contemporary photos from the “Arab World” or historic products from the “Orientalists”.

When we met Stefka she explainded why she decided to focus on male portraits: “there is at least one interesting shift in the perception of the “Arab” – from a desirable, seductive promise of forbidden pleasures for male Europeans to a dangerous, unpredictable, threatening and aggressive warrior focussing on bringing terror to the western world.” – Call us old fashioned, but the first image is still stronger in our head!

Stefka’s actual exhibition Seeing is remembering is displayed at Stedefreund Berlin, opening April 01 2011