(From the Qajar series)
(from the Like Every Day series)
I am a woman and I live in Iran. I am a photographer and this is the only thing I know how to do. I began work after completing my studies. Quite by accident, the subjects of my first two series were "women". However, since then, every time I think about a new series, in a way it is related to women.
It does not make a difference to me what place the Iranian woman has in the world because I am sure no one knows much about it.
Perhaps the only mentality of an outsider about the Iranian woman is a black chador, however I try to portray all the aspects of the Iranian woman. And this completely depends on my own situation.
- Shadi Gadhirian
The two images above are my favorite ones from each of the series. The first one, because it's delicate. I find many of the other pictures in the Qajar series too obvious, too aggressive and thus too simplistic. The idea is explicit, and the contrast between modernity and "timelessness" looks more like a Hollywood time-travel film than a piece of reality. And that's fascinating - how carefuly reality needs to be managed in order to appear as reality. In this particular picture, the time contrast fades to second plan. We have a duo - the phone and the girl. The phone seems to somehow upstage the girl. Its silence is stronger. It attracts the girl without her knowing about it. We know she is waiting for a call, and that is the reason for her being serious. And only now, after "reading" this, do we realize we exist in a strange time zone, the picture is old, very old, the girl is "timeless", and the phone is the only connection to... us. At the same time, it is a somehow outdated phone, one we rarely see around us (depending where we live, of course!). And once again, time is suspended: is it the local object-time? Or is it really going back? When is the story being told? How far are we?
The second picture is part of an entire lot of kitchen appliances. Do I need to spell out what it does? I like this particular objects, because it hurts. In this context, it could very well be an instrument of torture. Isn't it?