Lebanese graphic design graduate Wael Kodeih, 34, is turning heads with his provocative installation as part of the 2013 Exposure exhibition at the Beirut Art Center.

His interactive installation titled, "Lost and Found," highlights the subject of cyber censorship and even alludes to the kinds of technological capabilities made possible by the alleged mass surveillance operations conducted by the US National Security Agency. His work: a pile of flyers stacked on a table next to a laptop. The flyers are photocopies of an image Kodeih saw while walking on the streets of Berlin. Take a look:



The picture shows the bust of a topless woman with no nipples along with the message: "Lost! My nipples have disappeared from the Internet!" Kodeih discovered that the poster was the work of a female activist, only identified a F., who wanted to shed light on the fact that nipples were actively being censored from social networking sites.

Facebook, specifically, has come under fire in recent years for its ban of "breastfeeding photos showing other nudity, or nipple clearly exposed". It also bans "naked private parts" including "female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks."

After some research, Kodeih connected with a Moroccan company that handles censorship on Facebook. For a $1 an hour, a guy named Youssef Derkawi spends his time erasing nipples from the social networking website, among other tasks. A friend of Kodeih's, who works in the new technology field, suggested that the nipples - intact- likely remain stored at the NSA which possesses the largest backup server in the world.

This was the launching point for the artist's installation: where users can reenact what the NSA's servers might look like, pulling up cropped pictures of random nipples and saving those as separate files on the laptop at the BAC.

"I wondered how women would feel if they ever saw their own body reshaped that way," Kodeih told Beirut.com, adding, "What kind of censorship is that? Why remove the nipple, and not the entire breast?"

The artist's installation is one of 14 different works currently on display as part of Exposure - an annual collective exhibition organized to expose up and coming artists to the Lebanese art scene. The exhibit runs until January 11. To find out more about the event, click here.

Articles & Media

6 photos
 

More Rebels Like Us

Behind the Lens with... Rebels Like Us
Chi.N.N's Epic Episode Rebels Like Us
The World of Red Bull Rebels Like Us
Min Fadlek B*tch Rebels Like Us
 

Past Events

 

Comments

Avatar 1
Post to facebook