The Party, Installation, Gallery 44, 2017
The title of my current piece is The Party. For this installation, I gathered numerous basket trays-or rattan. These trays were designed by weaving leaves, hair and my own portrait to represent the story of a woman in Iran-who is interconnected (literally) with duties beyond her familial obligations. I deliberately used my picture in a specific artistic technique Laser Engraving -combining earthly elements to draw the audience into a realistic realm of the ideal role of domestication. Women in Iran are responsible for managing the home and are also expected to embody the Iranian hospitality. A basket or tray gives and receives; therefore through these photographs-I wanted to explore the social norms of hosting a party.
Keeping along with the theme of routine as a woman’s main role in Iran, this series captures the tale of a caretaker. For this reason, the ceremonial trays display pieces of me. Often art imitates life, and as I was working on this project it was difficult because we used a laser to translate my photographic face onto the trays. The appearance of who I am as a woman is vague and disconnected: there she is, eyes closed, like a chameleon, blending in with the background-of the tray and the mehmooni. Her identity has now become an emblem of the tray. The image of an eye, or a fading lip and the hair woven into the tray, along with the leaves creates an identity that is separate, and yet, intertwined with the face of a woman who has transformed into the hostess. There is now a delicate balance between who she really is and a woman well versed in the vernacular of the Iranian hospitality also known as taarof. In taarof the hostess insists on giving their guests as much as they can in services, invitations and deeds upon arrival and departure of the Mehmooni or The Party.