All posts by soody

Recent Work

The Space Within is an exploration of the whole notion of inside and outside. It re-imagines an internal conflict, the condition of being at once a part of and apart from one’s culture, by mapping it visually in terms of public and private space. Employing a documentary-style images of Iranian people and oversized re-workings of Persian miniatures, the exhibit explores the divided nature of contemporary Iranian life. By visually highlighting the places where the categories of inside and outside overlap–in the interior world of the home, with its shielding walls, and the exterior space outside the city, The Space Within explores the political in the personal and vice versa.

The portrait images depicts the hidden world of the Iranian home and speaks to the personal as well as political side of life, giving the viewer a priviledge insider’s view of the space behind the walls. While The Desert series, moves outside the walls to speak about the possibilities of a new private, but still political space, that emerges in the margins of the city when contemporary concerns meet the traditional art form of the Persian miniatures. Ancient conflicts, between the individual and society, between male and female and nation and nation find new voice. By bringing elements of traditional Persian iconography together with contemporary subjects, The Desert series creates a compelling collapse of time and space, where individuals move in a fantastic space that is both public and political, private and personal.

The Desert Beyond The City Belongs To Me

Through the visual juxtaposition of cityscapes and desert landscapes, the series The Desert Beyond the City Belongs to Me tells the story of cultural and political life in 21st century Iran, in all its rich complexity. Reminiscent of Breughel and Bosch landscapes, this series stages a dizzying range of events, from Peeping Toms in Iran’s segregated beaches to protesters filling the streets of Tehran. Colliding dynamic urban conditions with the ritualistic practices of the remote, rural Middle East, The Desert Beyond the City Belongs to Me seamlessly speaks to larger geopolitical issues. An example of such an issue can be found in the protest movement that followed the highly contested 2009 Iranian presidential election. Not only did this public outcry foreshadow the greater region’s “Arab Spring,” (a term given to the widespread wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars occurring during the still ongoing Arab Revolution), but it also brought to the surface an underlying tension at the very heart and name of the country itself: between a republic and a theocracy, between public and private, between the secular and the sacred, all as found in Sharifi’s work. By bringing elements of traditional Persian iconography together with contemporary subjects, The Desert series approaches these complex issues with a compelling collapse of time and space.