‘Questioning how one is seen, and how one sees themselves, is a shared experience for the displaced, the new, and others.’
Replication is a series of large scale black & white photographs (The original images are taken by analog camera). The photographs are taken from inside buildings under construction and also a highway in Tehran which is a metropolitan city. The form, texture, shadow and light here are the main focus of the images.
By replicating and mirroring black & white images of the past, I created geometric shapes and patterns rooted in an unseen and underlying reality (refers to infinite nature and spirituality). This project has connotations with Persian abstract art and architecture, known for the use of geometric forms and patterns of ritual origin. Images from the past are drawn together to convey a new, albeit unsettled reality.
The exploration of the self leads to the questioning of perception. Questions surrounding perceptions of one’s identity, are seemingly of a higher order to those of form in the world around us. But this is a fundamental premise which is questioned in the work. Forms are transformed here. Perspectives are altered. The mundane is elevated and the magnificent is manipulated. The hypothesis is that the mechanism for shifting perception may be universal. Perhaps there is no order of magnitude in difficulty. If one can change how they see form within the World, do they not also possess the capacity to change perceptions of self?
Questioning how one is seen, and how one sees themselves, is a shared experience for the displaced, the new, and others. The work uses images from the past and the longed for, but is shaped by the experience of cultivating a new identity in the here and now. It takes what was known, familiar and understood, but recognizes that it can never be seen the same way again. In this sense, it invites the observer to experience the unstable and unsettled perception of the displaced, willing or otherwise. Without the lived experience of processing one’s assimilation, it invites the observer to consider what it feels like to have their sense of self, home and identity profoundly shaken.
The aesthetic nature of the work acknowledges structure, magnitude and beauty. The profundity of one’s culture cannot be glimpsed without magnitude and scale. However, the work brings in images of the mundane and the everyday. They too are integrated. The once overlooked or underappreciated is perhaps seen in a new light. It too has a place in this new perception. It offers hope that nothing needs to be discarded or thrown away. Nothing needs to be denied or disowned. All aspects of the self are welcomed and can create a new Gestalt of grace, dignity and beauty.
Mirroring and duplication may also be noticed, in what is perhaps an attempt to replicate the identity of the observed and new. A new identity is not shaped by singular temporal experiences. Rather, it is shaped through a longer time-frame. One’s previous self-perception is challenged again and again by the dominant and all-pervasive milieu. This does not happen instantaneously. It happens over time with seemingly relentless endeavor. It cares little for the readiness of the old self to let go and change in its own time. The old way of seeing is challenged with fervorous repetitively. The process is challenging yet refuses to be ignored or neglected.
In the end, the work remains true to beauty. The process of changing perceptions of form and self is demanding. Yet, it repays consideration. The work is an ode to the journey. The beauty and the truth of both the old and the new are celebrated. The underlying emotional experience is one of gratitude and hope.
Today, urban growth as a global phenomenon is an undeniable factor, including both in Tehran and Dublin. There is an enormous demand for new housing in both Places. In the article Urban growth pattern in Tehran City: Sustainability or unsustainability, “ Monitoring of spatiotemporal patterns of urban development in conditions of sustainability is of critical importance for urban planning and sustainable growth, particularly in the growing nations.” (A. Kaviani - 2017) By replicating the images I emphasis on the importance of housing/cities and growth of immigration.