Last year, Armin Amirian talked to Lomography about his motivations as an artist, his inspiration for his work and the difficulty of pursuing his passion in the society he belongs to. With that came a collection of images that reflected the concerns he and his fellow countrymen are faced with every day. The Iran-based photographer returns with insight on his new body of work.
Amirian’s statement on his latest project is somewhat cryptic, yet sincere. The message and the story behind the images are open to interpretation, but one thing is clear: they represent the artist’s personal reflections on life and society.
You might know that working in Iran has become difficult and for me, who works independently, it’s been much more difficult. My films, photo-arts and the rest of my artworks are forbidden and not allowed to be shown. This has made my working and living way more difficult. I’m facing a lot of hardships in living my life and earning money by working.
No milk for children
The series that I’ve been working on for a while now, is called " A’r ". It means the child and newborn who they have stopped feeding him milk from the start of his growth; and somehow, he is banished from growing since the start of his existence. Also, in the dictionary, this word has another meaning too. When an animal’s wool (horse, camel, sheep) falls and stops growing, they say " it’s got a’r "; the wool which the animal is known and has identity with it.
Staying in silence
The word A’r in persian has the similar form to the “hee-haw” sound of the donkey. So it’s not used as the main meaning I explained above, but as the donkey sound in today’s culture. This word is an old one which almost none of the people know the meaning of. Only maybe by searching in the online dictionaries can find a brief explanation.
This series has been and is in the process at the same time as my life’s problems in Iran. The country that its history, identity, culture and everything related to it, is important to me; and I think about people’s going backward and stretching, constantly. Now, I am unimportant to this society and should look at my endeavors getting nowhere. I should stay in silence.
Perception of life and society
The photos has been taken in the Iran’s cemeteries, mosques, old and historical places. but they’re seen as in other meanings and areas. The pictures’ atmospheres are not documentaries and no one sees any quadruped animals, objects, and personages. I am watching them in these situations, everyday. They are somehow real for me. Though the magical realism atmosphere of the photos comes from my thoughts, ideas and imagination, but they’re all the result of my thinking and perception about this life and society.
Learn more about the artist and his work on his official website.