Mediums of Exchange - Sheida Solemani
Estimated Release Date: Summer 2022
Trade Edition ISBN# 978-1-7339499-6-5
Medium of Exchange is an urgent publication that exposes the oil industry’s entanglement in global networks of violence, corruption, and abuse. The 15 volumes in this collection correspond to 15 historic member nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), respectively, and represent an extension of my ongoing photographic series of the same name, which uses genres of art (camp, punk, street, kitsch) and living (masculinity, BDSM, food) to bring to light the corrupt relationships of OPEC oil ministers and western government officials. The portrait series transforms geopolitical relationships into intimate ones—relationships between humans, between bodies with appetites and desires. The result is to provide the spectator with visceral and emotional access to the history of oil, especially as it has served as a lubricant for cronyism and corruption. Concerned with the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, each volume investigates illegitimately elected officials’ ties to the petroleum industry through layered pages of images and data that will encourage readers to assemble and reassemble narratives based on how they arrange and read the pages.