I gained a unique insight into Iranian visual culture by archiving family photos; these reveal how men and women were willing to show their marriage and romantic relationships. Working in a photography studio gave me the motivation to begin collecting photographs in 2004. Retouching damaged, old photos was part of my job, and I was fascinated by these nostalgic photographs. From then on, all my artwork centred upon them. The first photos I collected came from family albums. Gradually my collection expanded, until my former colleague donated his own photography studio's archive, which contained more than 50,000 negatives/photographs from the 1940s-1980s.
While archiving part of my collection, covering over 15 years, I came up with this question: ‘how did photography reinforce romance and passion in the 1970s in Iran?’ What drew my attention to the importance of photography regarding women's liberty was Laura Mulvey’s book, Visual and other pleasures. The theory in the essay Visual pleasure and narrative cinema established the fundamental vocabulary I used in the following argument, including terms such as visual pleasure and the act of looking. Mulvey used Psychoanalytic theory to demonstrate how the subconscious influence a patriarchal society has on structured film form. This psychoanalytic approach made me think of the vast difference between how a woman is presented in non-Iranian cinema as a popular medium with a wide audience, compared to how a woman is presented in Iranian cinema, despite the fact that they have both been subject to the influences of a patriarchal society.
My thesis is novel. the visual part of the project consists of 40 ice cubes hanging on the wall melting before the audiences.