In her multimedia installation Zen for Hoejabi,

comissioned for SITUATIONS/Porn, Anna

Ehrenstein explores the idea of authenticity

and its present-day distribution, commodification

and circulation. The work focuses

on the everyday use of the religiously connoted

hijab, which she has witnessed being used

also as a fashion accessory as well as a practical

mobile phone holder in her Berlin neighborhood.

Ehrenstein – herself a member of the

Albanian diaspora in Germany – deals with

this phenomenon and with the increasingly

pervasive feature of digital networks, in two

3D-printed busts and two video works looped

on Huawei smartphones.

Ehrenstein’s musings on the displacement

of meaning and function in cultural

objects are complemented by reflections on

certain ideas and moral attitudes that are

currently in flux – including our understanding

of what constitutes an original, an appropriation

or an imitation. For this purpose, the artist

exhibits lenticular prints of fake goods,

with references to ‘busta accounts’, which have

emerged in the context of the fashion industry

and are used to check the authenticity of

branded products illustrated on photographs.

The installation‘s central elements ultimately

address questions of representation and power

relations in the dynamic realm in which

cultural identity is forged and definitions are

negotiated – processes that increasingly

follow a capitalist logic governed by digitally

circulating images.

Text by Doris Gassert