My most recent work, “It’s hard to kill”, begun in 2017, was motivated by the fact that my parents have only a few surviving photos that portray them before the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, where I was born and raised. I am obsessed with the many photos that we no longer have.
Using other families’ photos, I try to imagine the moments that my father, a member of the National Front party, burned many of the pictures of his family, friends and colleagues, at risk of being arrested. This same experience happens frequently around the world during and after social revolutions.
I rebuilt these memories, although they are not directly mine. I heard them, and I live their consequences. I explore the idea of prosthetic memory, accessing the memories of my father through this burning of old family photographs.
Old family photos, as an object, have always held this aura for me. In “It’s hard to kill” not only do I recontext the photos, I also manipulate them by inserting my story into them. I try to make everything look deceptively real and establish a relationship between the real world and the prosthetic world.
The halo around some of the individuals is caused by burning, and focuses attention on questions about memory, history and their representation: How does self-censorship affect our memory and personal history? Is the halo a sign of loss of history, or rather a sign of bringing back the aura to the photographs?
Fatemeh Baigmoradi, GRACE: Gender-Race-Identity
January 3 – February 22 2018