The paparazzi in Azra’s artworks are reduced to black silhouettes that stand out slightly against the dark night. Passing boats activate the flashing of the cameras via sensors. The surprise effect, in addition to taking place in a location where you might not expect it, mimics real-life paparazzi. Feel Like the Kardashians allows you to experience what it’s like to be famous, when you might be ‘caught’ by the paparazzi on every street corner, at any time of the day.
Azra chose the Kardashians in the title as they represent a new type of fame; the Kardashians – that is, all members of the American families Kardashian and Jenner – are famous for being famous and have no special talents. Since their reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians was broadcast on American TV in 2007, the Kardashian family, especially Kim Kardashian, has become the largest and richest family in the world of showbiz. The family enjoys a degree of celebrity that was previously reserved for members of a royal family or successful actors and musicians. The rise of the Kardashians demonstrates that everyone can become famous by sharing as many photographs and videos publicly as they can.
In Feel Like the Kardashians Azra hopes that the audience will embrace the uncomfortable experience of the blinding, flashing lights in the same way that the Kardashians would. The Kardashians understand, like no one else, the darker side of being famous – the disruption of private life thanks to the continuous pursuit of the paparazzi – yet have used this to their advantage. The more photographs they take and share, the more famous the family becomes.