natascha sadr haghighian
"Empire of the Senseless II"
Opening reception: Wednesday, June 29th (6-8pm)
June 29th - July 31st 2016


Natascha Sadr Haghighian presents her solo debut presentation at Kai Matsumiya with the two-channel video projection, “Empire of the Senseless II”. The title is a reference to Kathy Acker’s 1988 novel in which Algerian immigrants have taken over a Paris composed of stray animals, the dead, and mutants. Categories of identity are mutable and undetermined, In fact they are resisted with conscious discipline in the name of self determination. In some instances women are referred to as “cunts”; in others as “prince”; or they are referred to with adjectives or professional titles fitting the immediate ever-changing contexts of the post-apocalyptic society. In this world, business can consist of the wealthy elite committing suicide and transferring wealth to the rest. Yet, within the chaos, there is a world without repression and inhibition—the result of enlightened transgression.

Sadr Hagighian’s exhibition actualizes these themes within the space at Kai Matsumiya. A series of adjectives and professional titles, such as “father/lovebird; slave/painter; racist/prisoner; victim/criminal” are projected onto the same space of wall by two discordant projectors. As a result, the words are scrambled and illegible, only becoming decipherable when someone steps in front of the picture eliminating one projection, but leaving the other. The individual then becomes part of the picture with one noun appearing within their shadow on the wall, and the other appearing on the individual’s body.

We live within a time in which powerful interest groups and commercial entities— particularly those with ultra-conservative ideologies, values, and agendas—have unmitigated [SR3] control in the determination of individual identities. Perceptions and constructions of who we are come via external sources. Multiplicities of identities are reduced to target audiences, statistics, and hashtags. “Empire of the Senseless II” encourages us to consider the origins, logic, and outcomes of identity formation. 

In accordance with, an exchange platform created by the artist, the gallery will not publish Sadr Haghighian’s CV, resume, or biography.