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Activity Untitled – Eastern Desires series



Description

The artwork

Untitled – Eastern Desires series

Inking, 2014-2017

Bagheri, in his Eastern Desires series (2014-2017), uses delicate drawing techniques coupled with immense detail to depict scenes of Iranian men that fluctuate between being contemporary subjects, and archival source material referencing Iran prior to the industrial revolution and modern period. These intimate scenes, at times evocative of hammam or bathhouse settings, are coupled with visual motifs reminiscent of Quajar dynasty Persian paintings that point to a masculinity of the subject that is unlike traditional depictions of Iranian men. Later works like Someone Who is Like No-One (2017) take similar archival references and delicate drawing techniques, coupled with jarring visual tropes that look out of place. This theme of not-belonging is extended in the artist’s use of traditional notions of hiding, and various critiques of the binaries between private/public culture and visibility/invisibility. Using these different strategies, Bagheri unsettles traditional depictions of Iranian men and examines the shift in gender norms from pre-modern Iran, and puts these shifts in dialogue with contemporary identities.

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