London

AES+F's London is part of its "Islamic Project" series intended to reveal the absurdity behind modern "Clash of Civilization" theories, as made popular by the political theorist Samuel Huntington in the mid 1990s. The artist collective's strategy is to take stereotypical views of cultures and to exaggerate them by creating a visual 'worst case scenario' of exactly these ideas - and to therewith demonstrate their absurdity.

London is a particularly good example of the series: Big Ben and Westminster are immediately recognizable landmarks. A red London bus and a black cab in the foreground make sure there can be absolutely no doubt about what this image is supposed to be depicting. And yet, two minarets are rising behind parliament, which is obscured by a dome-shaped roof together with Big Ben. On closer inspection, we notice that all of Westminster bridge is transformed: a vivid vegetable market and bazaar-resembling scene unfolds before the viewer, where one can not help but notice the waste littering the streets.

By juxtaposing extreme myths surrounding cultures, AES+F highlight the absurdity of the ideas: they utilise familiar images used by the media when depicting the middle east - chaotic dirty market scenes - and hold them against what is considered one of the symbols of Western democracy and progress - Westminster. By placing these images and the ideas they stand for next to each other, each become less convincing, and the absurdity of suchlike thinking and ideology is eventually highlighted.

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Londonby AES+F

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