Artist's statement

My works are mostly blended with my personal life, the solitude that is imposed to my generation by society, geography and history. Actually, I do not know what to do at first. Of course the events eagerly come to me and somehow I do not use the direct method for expressing my feelings. Undoubtedly, there is always a metaphor and they are inspired by my memories. Also they are memorials mingled with pain and wistfulness.
In SIFA, (the language of a minority that is my mother tongue, SIFA implies an extreme gloom and melancholy which made the human to lose his perception of his own world and its events. Furthermore, he is overcome by a kind of desperation and bewilderment. Perhaps, contemplation can be a light meaning of it.), there is my life in Iran and the bans from the powerful structures that strenghtened it (and absolutely there is nothing like this.), and made the portrait of my city, my country as you see: the disgusting walls and the closed and blocked windows which lost their sense of being and in fact have found a brand new contrary function. Yes they may seem to be funny and somewhat an exaggeration, but they are truly true and actually they are the very things that I have portraited in SIFA: the
cheerless faces of the people of my dear country. However, a very strange perseverance has united them with life. During the permanent funeral ceremony, my people get married, walk on the streets and ravish their hearts and exactly behind these walls, they love each other, watch the world cup football matches and laugh at the rulers.
But, of course they seem to be frustrated. Behind the walls and the blocked windows of SIFA, I can see the tormented face of a mother that something pushes her toward the death. In fact, a big part of my photos can never be seen and it is the life that is hidden under the shelter of solitiude or the permanent conviction in order to give up for this kind of living.
In this work of mine, the visual report is the uni-frames of THIS HOME IS BLACK by FOROUGH FARROKHZAD. In a matter of fact, these frames are like indications to the movie's theme which by showing a leprosary, has portrayed a moving criticism of the languid life of iran in those years. The leprosy devours the human's skin. It is a wound that attacks the human body and ruthlessly devours it. Forty years have passed since the production of this film, a movie which is an honest report on the condition of a home's light or in general terms the entity. Now, after 40 years how much has the home's light changed?
The contemplations on a home's light! A kind of translation of pictures that could be the reports of the home and its inhabitants ;THIS HOME IS BLACK.
In IRANDOKHT, my very aim is the exposition of people of some generations in my country to parts of their forgotten past like the discovery of their identity cards in the dustbins of the department of the registration of the personal status. It was like a genocide. A prescribed negligence from the ideological powerful institutions that cannot tolerate a different being and no other method of human life. It solely prescribes one pattern for all. At a time, there were these kind of women who lived, loved and of course they were beautiful.
LOVE: what can i say about love? Nothing! these photos are memorials of the everlasting wounds caused by ruth and atrocity that cannot understand love.The bloody sterilized gas of my friends (the youth of my homeland) are memorials of the gloomiest years of my life in TEHRAN UNIVERSITY alley.
And in”Is Photography An Art?” my pictures are mostly reminiscent of the photos that could not be taken during these years. However, the people's mobiles have recorded some of it last year.
Actually, the identification of the protesters by the help of these photos, made a strange contradiction. It is utterly confusing! Is photography an art?!
How can it be possible that this sort of art, instead of scandalizing the autocracy changes to a method for its (autocracy) development and the protesters are identified and imprisoned by its help.
This collection is a memorial for MS ZAHRA KAZEMI, a photo journalist who lost her life for her very career.


© All photos are copyrighted by Najaf Shokri.