farhad moshiri

I recently came across this work online, which is part of a series titled ‘Operation Supermarket’ by Farhad Moshiri and Shirin Aliabadi, a couple of conceptual artists from Iraq. The modified labels on the plastic containers are in effect a form of culture jamming. I have also played around with changing the labels on household products in a piece of work I made in 2011, but this only exists as a digital image. I think that Moshiri and Aliabadi’s work is much stronger for using three-dimensional objects, rather than just manipulating digital images, because it increases the sense of familiarity, which is in turn disrupted by the message on the labels. I don’t know whether these were displayed as objects, or as photographs of objects. Not much information is available online. Its interesting that a series of products are used. It seems the artists are saying that the westernisation of Iraqi culture is happening one consumer choice at a time, but only by noticing a pattern can you tell the extent to which Iraq as a whole has bought into the American lifestyle.