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Shadi Ghadirian | Artist’s Statements

Series - QAJAR
Written by - Dr. REZA SHEIKH

As an image, a photograph stands on its own. Rarely can such images be taken at face value. This is particularly true of studio portraits where the photographer has chosen to construct an image. Why construct such an image? The photographer has left clues.

The photographs here are the works of Shadi Ghadirian. Chosen from among her peers, the models pose with modern props in Iranian dress and against backgrounds from a century earlier. The images appear to depict a conscious choice on the part of the women.

Though a photograph should speak for itself, one cannot be oblivious to the fact that what we see are constructed images of her own gender, at a particular moment in history, created by a young Iranian woman.

As opposed to the work of a few women photographers from the Middle East, living and exhibiting in the West, that explores the notion of the ‘western image of eastern woman’ and their personal alienation, Ghadirian’s photographs are unique. They are images from within that do not play on western sensitivities but stand on their own.