Interviewing Shireen Liane
A few days after Brexit, we caught up with Shireen Liane, a recent Fine Arts graduate. It was an opportunity to discuss her Altered States series that was presented earlier in May during Degree Show 1. The project features a series of huge, altered American and British flags, that she uses as the context to engage a conversation with the public about ‘Americanism’, imperialism and colonialism. Humour appears to be her tool to encourage reflection, as her flag declaring, "Bake America Cake Again" and many others suggest.
A crucial point in relation to her work, Shireen is an American immigrant who has lived in the UK for 20 years. What was a shock (for a vast number of people) of the Brexit aftermath, forced necessary conversations that tapped into the role of politics, art and media. And now, with only a month before the American Presidential Elections, we are not sure if our conversation is to be intended as preparation for an inevitable ‘the-worst-is-yet-to-come’ scenario, or if the ‘worst’ is already the norm in capitalism and if we should stop being surprised by its grim consequences.