Els Vanden Meersch

research interests: photography, Middle East, Iran
affiliation: University of Antwerp / Royal Avademy of Antwerp

Mastering the Curtains is a photographic research of 2 perspectives in the Islamic Republic of Iran: on the one hand the public and transparent, on the other hand the hidden.

The first approach focuses on the content and implementation in the public space of the old popular and politicized street theatre Tazi’yeh.

The second approach explores the hidden world of the Sufis and their political difficulties within the current policy.

Originally, these seeming opposites have common ground in Iranian collective memory through a rendition of social and spiritual resistance.

The four-year research process involved continuous oscillation between exploration and self-reflection.

Reflections on religion, other and I, position and opposition, private and public, transparency and control are combined with series of images as in a 'flow of consciousness’.

This results in a multi-media use of text, images and sound that boosts the simultaneity of places and times.

The social potential of secular mysticism is distilled from this research.



The book Mastering the Curtains is published by Art Paper Editions.


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