Farah Al Qasimi, Body Shop
21 x 28cm, 90p, ills colour & bw, softcover
Published by Silence Face With Dashwood Books
Body Shop brings together years of interest in beauty, desire and surface in the United Arab Emirates. The transformative potential promised by the beauty industry–its advertisements, its packaging, its habits and routines—mirrors the language of national growth and economic development, privileging newness as a form of progress. The city’s surface behaves like human skin; aging, shedding, regenerating. Years of posters and advertisements leave their trace on walls, where pastoral murals and images of paradise endure to promise a world beyond – one with endless McDonalds franchises and luxury strip malls. Paced with images of the artist taken at photography studios, and beauty product packages promising whiteness and brilliance, the book is an attempt to illustrate the anxieties of coming-of-age and the need to constantly reinvent oneself in a place containing so many shifting ideals.