Evolution or Death
Fatmi inverts spectacular representations of identity by rendering them mundane and within reach of a subject that may scramble any conclusive narrative. Fatmi’s work counters strategies of interpellation that identifies a subject with an ideology prior to that subject’s ability to place their identity in or beyond a particular ideology. Fatmi parodies the various interpellations of colonialism and capitalism that seek to define others according to symbolic narratives. In Evolution or Death, 2004, (fig. 4) two Anglo-European looking subjects imitate suicide bombers with books and papers taped around their abdomens. One holds open a trenchcoat and another holds up a book that looks like a detonator attached to wires. Fatmi reverses the situation. These are not the suicide-bombers from Arab and Muslim countries. Instead, they appear to be of European descent in a European street or modern room in casual clothing.