A century old jamevar shawl that the artist purchased in Islamabad was used to explore ideas of veiling in relation to men. Zaidi offered a variety of men, sourced from internet chatrooms, all of different ages and social backgrounds, the opportunity to participate in this project by agreeing to be photographed by the rtists in their own home. Each person was given the same shawl to wear or drape around himself in the manner of his own choosing. Zaidi then produced a photographic portrait of each man within their own setting and a wealth of different gestures and scenarios emerged. This series of portraits was then morphed digitally transforming a set of tableaux into a short film depicting men in a manner that is both lyrical and humourous. For men in Western cultures, the meaning of draped cloth is tied to feminine qualities. Zaidi probes the relation of cloth to gender and cultural identity, representing a multiplicity of different masculinities, each with a different assertion of self-identity through draping the body. By projecting this video into the expternal facad of Phoenix Arts in Leicester, Zaidi questions our notion of boundaries in relation to the male body.
Commissioned by The City Gallery in partnership with Phoenix Arts and Public Arts Leicester. The Red Shawl was part of 'Fold: Drapery in Contemporary Art'.