"I RAN INTO MYSELF"
My most recent works are largely influenced by one particular image taken by Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games. This photo depicts two female volleyball players, with one covered in Islamic hijab and the other clad in more a traditional beach attire, a bikini. This photograph was later published in Tasnim News, an Iranian news agency, but with a distinct difference: the German woman wearing the bikini was censored by pixilation, as Islamic dress rules forbid women from revealing any parts of their body to the public.
When one lives in Iran, as I did, one becomes accustomed to seeing pictures of blurred and pixelated women if they are lacking the proper hijab. After living in the United States for two years without this type of censorship, however, seeing a blurred image of a female volleyball player grabbed my attention, and the picture of this censored female player became a new sort of identity to me.
"Anahita" is the only female goddess of water in my land. She heard the ice pillars melting. She laughed, swirled, and danced. By becoming a colorful motif, she dissolves into this ornamental world, and then the blue silhouettes appear on the walls. They were induced to laugh, swirl, and dance. The shadows are close, closer than their image in a mirror. One day the ice pillars will turn to water and Anahita's homeland will become pure.