I am from Iran, the country that for the last forty years (after the 1979 Islamic Revolution) has been defined by its distorted, manipulated, and extremist identity depicted by western media. I moved here about two years ago to pursue an MFA degree. Through my practice, I translate every day and banal encounters with people and places into a means of speaking about my past traumas, memories, and dreams. In my country, everything is related to politics. The politicians’ decisions that may or may not result in more sanctions on Iran have a direct impact on people’s lives daily. It is almost impossible not to be political in Iran, keeping updated with the latest news is an essential survival skill since our basic needs are dependent on politics, from the price of groceries that fluctuates every day, to certain medicines that are not easy to find, to not being able to travel to most countries. Therefore, to me, the seventy’s overused phrase, ‘the personal is political, and the political is personal’ is a living reality where both personal and political is chaos.
I am interested in expanding the space between binaries through art: be it two countries in conflict or contradictory feelings. I believe art brings different shades of grays to this black and white time that we are existing in. My work pursues a gray space for ambiguity, to blur lines and borders. I explore the possibility of creating a shared space where the two very different ‘self’ and ‘the other’ can meet and co-exist. My practice is a means of understanding these intersections, to process and unpack my relationship to my country of origin, Iran, from a distance. It highlights the duality of beauty and the grotesque by glorifying the horrible face of reality in an exaggerated way.