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Start date: 15-06-2013
End date: 18-08-2013
Country: The Netherlands
City: Amsterdam
Location: Bijbel Museum


Siba Sahabi’s new collection of felt lamps entitled Sherazade launched at Bijbels Museum in Amsterdam

By Editor / 01-08-2013

The collection is inspired by nighttime silhouettes of Middle Eastern rooftops. The series comprise three lamps made of coiled coloured felt strips coated with a layer of paint on both sides. This way each object shows three colours: the original colour of the felt (sur- face of the ridges), the inside, and outside of the objects. The metallic paint increases the refection of the light.

Siba’s work is dedicated to ‘Sherazade’, the most famous Persian female character
and storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights). Sherazade, a wise queen, escapes the death penalty by telling stories to the sultan and giving birth to three sons during a period of 1001 nights.

This collection of West and South Asian stories date back to the 9th century and was translated by the French writer Antoine Galland in 1717. Since then it has had an immense influence on Western literature, visual arts, dance, music and film. In the 18th and 19th century the heroin Sherazade was eroticized and exoticized by the orientalists. Back then Europe was characterized by bourgeois constraint and Victorian prudery and the Orient was a device for mental escapism. Since the 20th century Sherazade has been transcending her original literary environment, appearing in different novels and films and becoming a role model for discussing female modern-day issues such as self-deter- mination and independency.

Though Persian in her origin, Sherazade’s changing European image reflects the trans- formation of the female role in Western society throughout the last three centuries.

‘Sherazade’ is exhibited during SALON/KANT at the Bijbels Museum, Amsterdam from 15 June – 18 August 2013.

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