For my master’s thesis, I focused on one hundred critical texts (essays/articles/reviews) about contemporary Iranian photography from 1990 to 2019. After my two-year research on Iranian contemporary photography, I realized that these 100 texts could constitute the discourse of the critical literature relevant to photography that has emerged over recent decades n Iran. You can see some excerpts of them on the gallery wall. By doing so, I intended to find the potential capacity to extract a hidden intertextual conversation among them.
In the present installation titled “disruption and continuity,” I highlighted two recurrent failures that can be recognized in the critical view of Iranian photography. According to the writers of these texts, these two shortcomings have prevented the formation of the continuous flow of art that we know in the chronological lists of periods in Western art history, so they have taken away the possibility of producing a coherent and modern art history out of the contemporary art projects by Iranian artists. These two are 1) the lack of historical observation and contextualization from the art historians and critics and 2) the need for authentic representation of the lived experience in Iran’s cultural/social circumstances from the artists’ part.
The cogwheel embedded between the texts on the wall converts “flow” into “split units.” A mechanism that temporarily interrupts the continuous flow of motion with timely intervention (As in the clock, the flow of time is limited to a comprehensible quantity.) The cogwheel machine is a sign, a hieroglyphic semantic unit that will respond to the basic issues of contemporary Iranian art criticism.