Rashid Rana’s seems to challenge traditional boundaries and transcend concepts of conventional representation. Veil IV is a remarkable work from Rana’s iconic Veil sequence, one of the most significant series of his career to date. At first glance, the primary impact of the work resides in the powerful scene – taken from a newspaper photograph – of five heavily veiled Muslim women standing in a seemingly silent row, whilst the choice of image displays the artist’s critical concerns regarding race, gender, the media and popular culture. It is only on closer inspection, however, that the truly subversive nature of the image becomes clear: the photograph is in fact made up of thousands of tiny pixelated pornographic images of women. The glaring contrast provided by the Muslim women in their traditional dress with the blatant nudity of the Western porn actresses, encourages a powerful shift in focus between the poles of these two stereotypical extremes and alludes to the great cultural divide between East and West. Despite the complex social and political references suggested by this extraordinary dichotomy of images, Veil IV retains an innate visual appeal, encouraging the engagement and interaction of the viewer, an ideal which is of major importance for Rana: “I want my works to have a popular appeal, so they’re not scary to the lay person. That’s why I use photography, it’s an accessible medium” (the artist, cited in conversation with Nosheen Iqbal in ‘Why would I leave Lahore,’ in: The Times (Review), 9th April 2011, p. 5). In its parallel conjunctions of the sacred and profane alongside concepts of concealment and exposure, Veil IV possesses a uniquely poetic form.