My work has obsessively questioned otherness, contemporary migrations, uprootedness, belonging, hybridity, social issues and the effects of War. Often self portraits, going from the Me series to the Tree (which represents me), it is always directly inspired by my hybrid life, my multiple imperfect identities and the social work I have been doing since the mid 90s with delinquent youngsters, street children, migrants and asylum seekers. I believe art can only be a strategy of resistance.
On Me series (video)
This work's departure point is identity -- my multiple imperfect identities, though it has evolved into being more and more universal:
The woman (Me) is now ‘just a human being.’
In this work I do not intend to talk about myself only, i.e. an Iranian, a middle easterner, a woman. And if I use a woman (myself) it’s just because I am one.
Through the pretext of autobiography, I try to portray a human in our world today.
(Regardless of gender, and ethnic or racial background)
The chador, that has become mostly a graphical element and a link between the scenes, is just a local color --much like the black humor that I use in my films.
The Me series is an ongoing series I started in 1997. 770 scenes have been made until now.
This work started in 1997 when I received an expulsion letter from the French Ministry of Interior telling me to leave the French Territory immediately (they refused to renew my permit to stay). My immediate reaction was to put advertisements and announcements for a marriage of convenience, in order to be able to stay.
"Road Movie" is a series that I started in 2010, inspired and based on people in transit.
It started on young Afghan and Iranian asylum seekers that spent some time in Paris on their way to the UK or Northern Europe. The hang out place for the persian speaking illegal immigrants is around my neighbourhood in Paris and somehow I got involved with some of them, trying to help their survival while in transit.
The communication between us was in Persian, thus I was able to have a direct connection with them.
The Road Movie performances are unique and performed by myself, their films can be projected afterwards independantly.
I portray the 'other' with my writing ... I work on and represent their stories but never show them directly in my work.
Infact the Road Movie series is a collection and a recording of the stories of "invisible" people and their unwritten histories. Histories that document the lives of displaced people and reflect our contemporary History.
Video performance series. The blackboard, like a 'black hole' absorbs all the stories drawn on it.
World maps are metaphors for my "in transit" state since 1986, in-between France and Iran and between several languages and roots.
I use contemporary political world maps printed in Iran and in Persian. I paint over the flags in order to de-politicize the maps.
I don't just draw on maps but also deconstruct and reconstruct them, making my own cartography and new geographies.
My concern has been to use real world maps (not images of maps) and to underline manmade disasters such as wars, pollution and corruption. And their results such as exodus and mass migration.