|Title||'Border' and 'Tehran' 2006|
|Creators||Tabrizian, M., Golding, A. and Nava, Z.|
'Border' and 'Tehran 2006' are two related parts of a photographic project on Iran dealing with hardship and isolation on both sides of the border. 'Border' comprises twelve photographs (size 4'x6'). 'Tehran 2006' is one panoramic image (size 4'x10') which combines ten images. ‘Border’ focuses on untold stories of Iranians in exile. Using the codes of documentary, yet avoiding the usual generic approach,
‘Border’ combines fact and fiction. Reminiscent of movie posters, the work concentrates on the fantasy of return, using Beckett’s
notion of waiting in ‘Waiting for Godot’ as a metaphor for the bleak situation facing Iranians today.
Set against the cityscape of post–revolution Iran, ‘Tehran 2006’ focuses on the reality of the ordinary in extraordinary times. The
project eschews the usual representations of Iran such as social documentary, abstract photography, or exotica. Instead, it
echoes contemporary Iranian cinema, using non- actors and focusing on an apparently ‘small’ subject, treated allegorically to
allude to wider social issues.
Together, the projects deal with hardship and isolation on both sides of the border, challenging the fantasies Iranians have of
both East and West. Those living in Iran idealize life in the West; those living outside long for ‘home’. But both groups share the
will to survive - evident in the stories participants told Tabrizian - seeing survival as a strategy of resistance.
These are large-scale productions akin to film shoots, with high production values and meticulous research. Tabrizian is creative
author and director, assisted by Golding (lighting) and Nava (producer).
Both projects were funded by AHRC (Small Grants and Research Leave) and ACE (total £6000). ‘Tehran 2006’ was purchased
for Moderna Museet’s permanent collection, auctioned at Christies, Dubai (November 2007), and will show at Tate Modern
2008. Both projects were discussed at Tate Modern conference ‘Global Photography Now’ (Sept 2006). Images and related
essays were published in Portfolio No 44 (‘Border’ alongside Hamid Naficy essay); Next Level, No.2 Vol 5 (‘Tehran’ alongside
Tabrizian essay); New Formations, No. 62 (forthcoming)
|Web address (URL)||http://www.mitratabrizian.com/border.php|