Sorry for the absence! I was on summer break, workin some jobs and stuff. But school started last week and the work I’m making is starting to take shape! Got a simple starter project due next week, but I’m really excited to show you guys what I’m planning on making next. Its going to be so cool yo. Even if you don’t like it, its still going to be cool.
UGH so motivated.
"Jihad"- Yasmine Kasem March 18th, 2013
Mixed media: Concrete, steel, sand,paint, rope, cinderblocks.
It’s common for non muslims to see the word “jihad” in a threatening light due to the misconception that it means “Holy War”. that is not true. Jihad is not a physical action, but an inner struggle against temptation. Jihad the the struggle you have with yourself to do the right thing and be a good person. Being humans, we aren’t perfect and cannot win every battle. Sometimes temptation gets the better of us, and every time is does, damage is done in a given amount. As we go on in our lives, the jihad gets harder at points and the damage that giving into temptation gets worse. With every scar, comes a lesson and from that lesson we build character. But sometimes, the struggle is too hard, and it breaks us, leaving us to build ourselves back up again.
"Jihad" is a kinetic sculpture composed of a 5X2.5’ slab of concrete weighing around 255lbs. A steel angle with a 25lb steel wrecking ball and chain attached to the end, was embedded into the concrete. supporting the back are a few pieces of steel and cinderblocks. Spray painted on the concrete slab is appropriated grafitti from the Egyptian revolution and the Syrian revolution as well as personal struggles of friends. Some used phrases, some used single words and some used symbols. We all live life on a different scale. Some of us struggle with love, honesty and things of the sort, where as other struggle to stand for their freedom, physically or mentally. regardless of what we struggle with, it is endless and it can be relentless.
"Metamorphosis of Modesty"
wood, steel, fabric.
February 4th, 2013
I’m not against wearing it. Not at all so please dont think im anti-hijab.
Its just not something i personally will wear. Its something grew up with out.
I grew up in a small town in central Indiana with a history of racism. The type of town that had a church on every corner, and never really moved on. Meaning that most people would go to school until high school, then get a job at one of the factories. We had a university, but it is just a small branch of a larger one and most people who went there, would end up staying in the town like the others. My dad got a job there teaching chemistry so that’s where we ended up. Looking back, that town was a curse and a blessing. More times a curse, especially as a muslim Egyptian girl.
I didn’t grow up in a traditional Muslim house hold. My dad tried to teach us Arabic, but it’s difficult when your mother doest speak Arabic as well. We didn’t eat traditional Arabic food. Actually, we ate more Germanic foods because thats what my mother cooked on account of her strong German/American background up rooted from her Wisconsin upbringing.
My earliest memories of Hijab where ones of the women or (Aunties) at Ramadan dinners and gatherings. I only remeber my mother wearing one when i was very little, but after she took it off, she wore it for prayer. Our Muslim community was small, about 50 people, and none of the other children were close to my age so seeing other girls my age wearing Hijab was something I grew up without as well. My dad never talked about it, nor did my mom. No one ever brought it up to me at dinners and gatherings. So I never thought about Hijab or really my standing within the Muslim comunity untill one particular Eid morning.
We didn’t have a mosque in my town, so we always drove to indianapolis to use theirs. This year, only me, my sister and father went. My brothers were young so my mother stayed home to take care of them. My sister and I wore saries given to us by friends. The first year we had worn saries to Eid. When we parked, my dad made his way to the mosque and left my older sister to be incharge of me. She looked around for someone to help us find the womans prayer area when a girl our age stopped to help us. She wore, what I now know is called a chador. She looked at us funny.
my sister “excuse me do you know where the womans prayer area is?”
girl “yeah i can take you…” she paused for a little longer “are you muslim?”
my sister “…..yes? why do you ask?”
girl “…. oh you just arent wearing a head scarf, do you have one?”
My sister and I had scarves wrapped around our necks and shoulders. We normally didn’t put them on just before prayer. It was at that point when I began to question my standing in the Muslim community. Was I not taken seriously for not dressing traditionally? Was I not viewed as a “true muslim”? At the time I was a pre-teen, so my feelings on insecurities were much stronger then and among other things (goth phase, angst, family issues) I found that I was distancing myself from the muslim community in my town, although the connection to my faith was never effected. But even as I got older and my fashion sense changed, even my own father started to accuse me of being without faith. Telling me to cover my arms, to cover my neck because it made him look bad. My insecurities only got worse and it wasn’t long till I distanced myself from the muslim community all together.
After leaving for college my first year…lets just say i took a short vacation. And after falling on hard times, Allah guided me back to the right path, stronger than ever. I became more religious. Studying the Quran, rater than flipping through it, learning duaas, I even started to learn arabic as a result. I started to integrate myself into the muslim community on various websites and I started to notice something very different about the hijab.
Growing up, I remember the few times my dad talked about Hijab, he said that the Hijab is a symbol of modesty for women. That a muslim, man or woman, should be modest. But other than that, he never pushed it on me, my sister or mother. Nor did the other women in the comunity. Hijab wasnt really even something i thought about till last year. I spend 30% of my life on line, and on this website. I’m following several muslims and reading their opinions on islamic and cultural topics. Through this I have learned a lot of about peoples ideas and understandings about Islam. Several that have lead me to research topics on my own, several that I agree with, and several that I dont. However, one topic still leaves me a little baffeled. The view of Hijab.
My ventures through the Islamic internet has shown that the meaning of hijab has changed for many muslims. It has become a symbol of beauty, pride, perfection, and elegance. A veiled muslim women, is put on a pedestal put above those who don’t cover. She is a “perfect example of Islam” and she can do no wrong. She wears her religion on the outside, and that is how she may be judged. Rather than people knowing her by her character and her deeds. That when a girl wears hijab, some see a guarantee of good deeds and character. It becomes instant honor in the eyes of some, so it seems. That perhaps wearing hijab elevates a woman and her family in a social class. That her daughter may be pressured to wear it from a pre adolescent age, I have even seen pictures of infants and todlers in hijab, niquab, and burka. What is sexually appealing about an infant? Nothing, (unless you’re sick minded). But this example has lead me to believe that hijab in this instance, is a reflection of excessive vanity and pride. Pictures of feathered and featherless chickens relating to wearing hijab vs. not wearing hijab become a ploy and advertisement for beauty. Hijab makes you beautiful where as no hijab, you are ugly.Stories of muslim bothers harassing non-veiled woman, without considering her religion at heart, but then turning around to show the up most respect to the ones to do veil themselves. The hijab has become a truly visual aspect to some people. As if they do not even consider the hijab on the inside.
Now, I need to make this clear. I’m not saying this is wrong, or saying i’m the Haram police. I am purely commenting on the whole situation. Although I do not wear hijab, that should no exclude me from commenting on it. When I became more religious, hijab was something I researched to see if i wanted to commit to it. However, its not for me. I don’t plan on wearing it anytime soon, if at all. Maybe one day I’ll change my mind, who knows. Its just interesting that the meaning of Hijab has changed in this way to people. That it has gone through metamorphosis to some muslims.
I have created a Hijab for the “hijab”. Using wood and metal to construct a frame to resemble the head shape of a veiled woman, I have covered the metal skeleton in black fabric, a color that is considered “modest”. Inside, I constructed a pedestal to hold a representation of the morphed meaning of hijab, adorned in attention grabbing scarfs, similar to ones I have seen people wear. On the face of the inner hijab, I have mosaicked a mirror—considered one of the most vein objects on earth. Finally on the inside of the outer hijab, I have draped a golden scarf, as a reference to status in social class that some use hijab for.
Anonymous asked: so question. when you're sculpting: where do you find the metal? and how do you make the metal bend? and do you solder? i know these are amateur questions but I'm so interested in learning.
These are important questions!
Where to get metal: Metal can be a little pricy, especially if you buy it from home depot or other hardware stores that sell metal. You’re going to want to get steel because it is the strongest, cheapest, and easier to weld with. The best place to get steel is a steel suppliar. see if you cant find a place that does small orders. thats what i do, and i get some pretty good deals using “scrap” metal.
bending: there are several bending techniques. You can use a few different machines that can bend them in to perfect circles and curves, or you could you a non mechanical tool in which you use your body and a lever to bend it. Thats what I used. you could heat bend it which requires some type of torch, vice clamp and a pair of pliers. you heat the metal till its red hot and you can bend it into really tight curves and organic shapes. if your metal is thin enough, you can bend it by hand.
welding: with this type of sculpture, you need to weld. I used a MIG welder. its much faster than oxi-welding. with any metal sculpture, you’ve got to weld. there is a substitute, which is like a plastic. its kind of like BONDO, which means it needs to set for a long time and its not very strong, but its an alternative that will make your piece stay together.
Metal sculpture requires a lot of tools for cutting it shaping it and bonding it. if you know of some way to get access to these tools, go for it. its so much fun. I suggest contacting a local art school with a sculpture program, or a foundry. See if they can’t do something for you.
hope this helped! if you need more information just let me know. I’m glad to help!
Starting off spring semester sculpture with another cultural piece. I’m basically making a giant hijab (head scarf). The concept is, well… delicate and I have spent the last few weeks typing it up. So expect to see the finished product, along with an artists statement explaining everything.
The funny thing about this project is that it’s supposed to be our “wood” project. But seeing how I’m now a sculpture II student now, my professor said I could use metal. I’m glad too because steam bending the wood into a shape like that would have taken so freaking long. Anyway, I’m really excited for the finished product.
deinstallations asked: omfg did you actually make those busts of the members of fun.???
Yes! I started in February of last year and finished them in June, right before the concert! I got the opportunity to present them by communicating with them through twitter. When the concert day came, I got to present my sculptures to them personally. I wrote a huge post with the story and everything earlier in my blog.
I really never expected any of it to happen when I started making them. But I’m so glad it did.