Not Your Fantasy I and II
Not Your Fantasy is a series of textile prints concerned with re-appropriating and reclaiming Orientalist imagery of Muslim Women.
The image is composed of a Muslim woman clad in white, set within a white background. The lack of colour is crucial as it negates all exotic and erotic Orientalist stereotypes. The only element of colour within the piece is the fabric. It is embroidered with the words ‘Not Your Fantasy’ and patterned with
fragments of Ingres’ La Grande Odalisque (1814) which has been criticised for its appropriation and sexualisation of Eastern Culture.
The fabric printed on fabric results in a pale and imprecise reproduction of the original photograph. This creates notions of figuratively pale reproductions of Muslim women within Orientalist paintings and articultes my concern with the cultural construction and visual mediation of the ‘Orient’ by Western male
painters. The phrase ‘Not Your Fantasy’ is challenging and clearly directed at 19th Century Orientalist painters who created scenes of harems from their imagination and were fascinated by the otherness of the Eastern woman. To reinforce this, the woman’s gaze is challenging, in opposition to the vapid expressions of women in Orientalist paintings.