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This Is Shahnoza 2

This Is Shahnoza 2
Signed Print

Julian Opie

Screenprint, 2006
Signed Print Edition of 40
H 57cm x W 136cm

Critical Review

Through a sequence of static poses that show the dancing figure moving around the pole, Opie creates a sense of movement within the image in a way that reflects movement in films. Opie orientates the figure’s head and body towards the viewer in order to suggest her awareness of being watched and makes clear that this sequence of movements is conforming to a particular performance tradition.

Rather than depicting someone to be recognised, the figure in This Is Shahnoza 2 is reduced to a ‘type’, presenting the viewer with a response to iconography found in the cultural mainstream that reflects the stereotypically ‘sexy’ woman. At the same time, Opie depicts the figure as always facing the viewer, and so by self-consciously subjecting herself to being looked at, she maintains her sovereignty over the desiring gaze and disrupts the expectations of the viewer.

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