Pendulum of Identity


Who are you? Who am I? How are we connected to each other? What are the layers that could define our identity? What is the power hierarchy among those layers? My work represents observations of an identity, shifting between two geographical contexts, while sexuality is the silent power holder. My artwork is a pendulum that oscillates between defining these distinctive areas on one hand and finding
the common ground between them on the other hand. The latter part accentuates blurring borders, for we as human beings are not subject to our ancestors in terms of political and geographical borders.
I grew up in Iran, a cultural plethora of ornaments and patterns. As a child, I had always been engaged with patterns in mostly all places, mosques, historical buildings, in the streets and even in our small house where I saw them on the carpets. I reckon the best way to embrace the sophisticated Persian culture with all its complexities is by looking at the interplay of a set of classic patterns. To me, ceramics, as my dominant material, and textiles are very nostalgic, thus I decided to apply them in my work because they are a physical sensation of my cultural ground. Besides, soil is a boundless natural matter found in everywhere and my forms are raised from the soil to challenge the relationship between identities within a global context.
As I entered the transitory space in between Persian and American culture, I found that the formation of my identity perception has become fractured. While my personal identity is strongly tied to my gender identity, other people often illustrate my identity through nationality. I scrutinize this disjuncture and seek answers to questions such as: to what extent is identity voluntary? Or is it obligatory? Do the geographical borders and political boundaries impose power over our identities? Can we alter the power system among the layers? Is it within our access to change this system? If it is, how deep can we delve into those layers?
In some of my work, I’ve added the architectural connotation of my sensation belonging to home. They manifest the places where I used to live, and their traces in my memory. The spaces where are dramatically fading both in my mental map as well in their physical stand as Iran is undergoing vast and rapid developments.
Furthermore, I aim at projecting body anatomy by means of architectural forms and explore the position of the body as an integral part of the building. I attempt to embody the identity issue in my work by using different symbols but my main concentration is on the forms, shapes, and patterns that construct the most significant part of my memory.

Untitled, 2015, Acrylic on canvas

Untitled, 2015, Acrylic and oil on canvas

Untitled, 2016, Acrylic and oil on canvas

Untitled, 2016, Acrylic and oil on canvas

Untitled, 2016, Oil on canvas

Untitled, 2016, Oil on canvas