Been T[here]

Been T[here] investigates stereotype as otherness and explores process of ambivalence central to stereotype within post-colonial discourse. This body of work responds to Homi Bhabha’s notion of stereotype as “a form of knowledge and identification that vacillates between what is always ‘in place’, already known, and something that must be anxiously repeated … For it is the force of ambivalence that gives the colonial stereotype its currency: ensures its repeatability in changing historical and discursive conjunctures; informs its strategies of individuation and marginalisation; produces the effect of probabilistic truth and predictability which, for the stereotype, must always be in excess of what can be empirically proved or logically constructed.” (Bhabha, 18)

Been T[here] is inspired by a souvenir collection by Starbucks that Esfahani encountered during her travels in Canada. “Been There Series: This exclusive series lets you collect the places you love, with designs inspired by your hometown and destinations across the globe” reads the label next to souvenir coffee mugs at the Starbucks. Through creating souvenir type objects, Esfahani uses the language of stereotype in order to destabilize the subjectification and cultural identification that occurs through stereotypical discourse.



faded stroke