Naeem Mohaiemen: Sign Said Stop (from "My Mobile Weighs a Ton" )

Something is making me queasy. We are inside an Asian century, and a local situation, that is producing endless beautiful imagery. But it’s all a little too gorgeous and refined. I get worried facing so much aesthetic perfection. Still need space for mistakes, rudeness, bacteria, and things that just don’t fit.

My work is interested in damage and panic. Politics come from the context in which image war happens. Mobile phone photos– blurry, low dpi, poorly framed, no rule of thirds, no color depth. Giving you quick access to make temporary provocations, without planning, intention or press card. As accidental as the boy snapping his lover on Dhanmondi Lake. Koi, amar kotha shune hasho na to…

We crave more spaces for DIY. Yes, anyone can do this, and everyone should. No barriers, no high culture priests, no hierarchy, no gurus. Eventually of course, every rebellion becomes it’s own clique. That’s when we need to move on to the next space. Friction and creative chaos. Accidental images get in the way of blueprints.

Some people want us to shut up and become a nation of shoppers. But we’re not quite ready for our Singapore moment.

-Naeem Mohaiemen