Self Portrait 5 (Tehran Project)

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Edition of 5


76 x 76 cm paper size
74 x 74 cm image size

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NB: This is a Lambda print on C-type photographic paper. All our prints come with a certificate signed by the artist and a unique edition number. The prints are produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

Net proceeds from the sale of this print go to the artist and to support:

"Tehran's Self-Portraits" explore Mehraneh Atashi's experience of living in a city that is changing quickly. Over the last 30 years Tehran's population has grown from 5 to 15 million. In the process of expanding and being rebuilt, its cultural identity is shifting. In response, Mehraneh has tried to enable the city to make a portrait of itself in flux.

Following on from her previous series "Tehran Cafe" in which she explored the desire of the young for privacy and anonymity within the public space "Tehran's Self-Portrait" is a continuation of Mehraneh's interest in the contradictions and ambiguities found on the edges of the private and public spheres.

Mehraneh explains: "What if, one day your location decides to take some self portraits? In the last 30 years, Tehran has faced an enormous growth. The population has boomed and the city has lost most of its historical identity with huge, ridiculous buildings. Lots of memorial locations have now disappeared, and the polluted streets have converted this city from a live location to a transitory and ordinary place. I have tried to explore the idea of making statues of myself in Tehran, watching the city through the eyes of a photographer - and as an urban sculpture.

The process of making this project was a very personal experience for Mehraneh and is best understood in her own words:

"I was neither living with the street, nor was the street passing through me. It was pushing me away with one hand while embracing me with the other. The self-portraits of Tehran are the outcome of this struggle.

From 2008 to 2010, I went towards my city from every angle, as a reporter on the side of Azadi, [1] Enghelab [2], Imam Khomeini [3], Imam Hussein [4] and Karegar [5], and then I embodied a statue, a head on the mountain summit, between Milad [6] and Azadi, as two heads attached with a nose of a tower, and a stony face covered with snow. The statues were stolen one after another. I was passing through Tehran and its changing colours. I kept changing till Tehran changed too. The street passed through me. It became the location of voluntary silences. It turned into a pathway where we shouted; our hearts pounded, came to recognize one another, were beaten up, detained, and gave our lives away. Some things were happening behind me. We became intimate, the city and I. I captured all its moments.

Yet, it was as if I did not know that such experiences were all evidence for my conviction. Behind me something was happening. Behind me is Tehran."

"Tehran Self Portraits" has been awarded the Paul Hill EXPOSURE Award and will be premiered in the UK at the FORMAT International Photography Festival 2011.

1 - Azadi (Freedom) Tower: a popular symbol of Tehran's architecture
2 - Enghelab (Revolution) Square: One of the main squares in Tehran
3 & 4 - Imam Khomeini and Imam Hossein: Two major squares in central Tehran
5 - Kargar (Worker) Avenue: One of the longest streets in Tehran
6 - Milad (Birthday): The tallest tower in Tehran (The Broadcast Tower)

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