Saturday, 23 May 2009

Forming The Perfect 1

From the eyes looking and the look of the eyes, we move on to the presence, the omni presence, of the camera. There are certain images which recur throughout this body of work. As well as the camera, recurring images include the lens, frame, photograph, mirror, us, (me and my friends), pomegranate, knife, and snow.

Forming The Perfect, whose title is taken from a chapter heading one of my Farsi grammar books, is applied to the construction of wedding pictures. These celebrate and freeze frame a moment, the perfect moment when life, briefly, becomes a fairy tale. Forming the perfect uses the oval shape as an elliptical lens, mirror frame and picture frame and hints at the eye shape in the first plate. I, the photographer, observer, guest, temporary family member, and artist am perched inside and outside the lens. I am both part of the proceedings and the observer of them. Wedding pictures are photo-shopped into a world or their own. Stage makeup is worn for the wedding ceremony and the entire wedding is performed to camera. There is no pretence at creating some kind of parallel norm, no attempt by the women concerned to delude themselves, or each other or me or any other viewer in believing this is the everyday. It most emphatically is not. The pictures are superimposed on to fairytale backgrounds as if to emphasise the point. I added a bit of my own emphasis: a white horse. I felt it was missing from Haddis’s photos. You can see it in the next post down, Forming The Perfect 2.

As a British artist, product of modernism and post modernism in equal measure, I feel some weight of expectation that this work must be in some way satirical. I must satirise the wedding pictures, make knowing jokes of some sort. There are some jokes, but they are unlikely to be discernible to anyone outside the families concerned. I have tried to tell the story of the pictures and show what they mean to me. There is no satire. It is simply a part of my answer to ‘what do you think of Iran?’

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