The Secret Life of Arabia – 80s pop Orientalism

Bowie

Maybe it’s just a new romantiks thing but in the 80’s everyone seemed to be chasing the Olde Araby dragon. Top of the Pops was all a-shimmy with kaftans and turbans and bush jackets run twice through Prophet-5 synth to form some truly delectable nuggets of Arab-themed ‘wrong’.

I’ve collected below a few choice examples of 80’s pop-Orientalism to fan you in your repose.

The Return of the King

IMG00377-20100811-1911

Yesterday King Abdulla returned from a six month medical leave somewhere in the bowels of Mordor.  In what has to have been the best coverage of a motorcade entrance ever, His Highness was treated to quite the elaborate show of jubilant nationalism.  Young hobbits in boy-scout-style regalia, orcs rowed up in their baldricks dancing Ardha … Continue reading

Liminal: A New Fragrance by T.A.Z.

Liminal Fragrance

Some of you who follow the blog (I’m talking to you nobody) may recall about a year ago I enlisted Benito Robinsoni (right here on this page) to help me realize my dream for a Lynchian perfume ad based on one of the Pirate Parfums I enjoy sampling at the wholesaler near Souq al Dira. … Continue reading

Translated By … Exhibition Spin-Off Book!

Architectural Association

As you may or may more likely not know, next Valentine’s Day will be the last day you’ll ever get to see “Translated By” at the Architectural Association in London.  HOWEVER. Don’t abandon hope all ye who did not enter there! The foresightful curators Shumon Basar and Charles Arsene-Henry are also editors. And what’s more. … Continue reading

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