Marjan Tajeddini: Karim Nasr appropriates Ingres’ Odalisque to the ‘permissible limit’. While the reclining nude is a classical subject demonstrated in many paintings, Ingres’ figure turns away from the viewer’s gaze to gaze back in a graceful fashion. In Lacanian psychoanalysis, the fulfilment of desire can only be achieved through lack. In relation to the Odalisque, any desire for the female nude has to be precipitated by her status as the Other–a Lacanian term defining the Other as one lacking a penis, hence, an object for fulfiling desire. In Odalisque, the female nude specifically does not show her lack because her genitalia are hidden by the nature of her pose (her back is to the spectator).
Now Karim Nasr ruins this lack completely, and the woman is no longer the Other. The censored body of this woman concentrates the spectator’s focus on her face. This is a true image of Iranian women in society. The censorship of body results in an over-attention to the face.