Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shadi Ghadirian

Shadi Ghadirian, "Qajar #3." 60x90 cm & 30x40 cm. 1998. [Image: Photograph in dreamy slightly soft sepia of a woman in front of a painted nineteenth century backdrop. The backdrop shows large formal windows with grand drapes, an archway, and fluffy whispy foliage typical of European academic paintings. The woman stands atop an Iranian woven rug and wears old-fashioned Iranian clothes. She stands with her hips akimbo and one hand on her hips, the other holding a 1980's boombox on her shoulder. She looks down slightly at the viewer.]

Wow. Check out this project:

Iranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian posed female models in nineteenth century Iranian clothes in this formal backdrop setting. In each photo the model holds a modern, often Western object, most of which have been smuggled into Iran. I can't look at the photos with the covered women holding mirrors without thinking of Maya Deren.

[Video: Meshes of the Afternoon, by Maya Deren and Alexander Hamid (her husband). 1943. It's 14 minutes long and sort of strange so I won't go into detail but this is a black and white avant garde film that is slow paced and has a non-melodic scratchy, windy soundtrack. A woman in a house by a sunny garden walks around, thinks and has a dream. She encounters various Jungian symbolic things. Jump cuts and repetition create feelings of dread and waves of sensation. At one point a cloaked figure with a mirror face turns toward her and sort of haunts the film.]

Go check out Ghadirian's website; there is a variety of really fascinating series.

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