Azar Emdadi | Dinner in Tehran


Working primarily with photography, Azar Emdadi digitally manipulates images to construct a dialogue between East and West that is heavily loaded with subtle symbols opposing tradition and modernity, while references of her native Iran are juxtaposed with allegories of a western lifestyle. A nod to Da Vinci’s Last Supper, the twelve works comprising Emdadi’s series titled Dinner in Tehran protagonise a veiled Persian woman whose defeated body language appears a constant throughout the body of work. Contrasting with their host, the twelve gesticulating characters that surround her, ready to share a rather opulent meal, cover a wide demographic range and allude to various forms of oppressions that shackle lives in Iran. Mirroring the female’s invariable pose, the dining room remains a gloomy grey, with Persian carpets adorning the walls while three windows serving as backdrop offer a peak into various neighbourhoods of Tehran. Eventually, the host and her invitees vanish, replaced by white doves that peacefully fly over the dining table Through the windows, one can no longer see Tehran. Instead, a tree with more birds resting on its branches heightens a sensation of liberation. 


Dinner in Tehran Series 5, 2012, 50 x 120cm, C-Print Edition of 5

Emdadi resides in the United Kingdom, where she participated in numerous group exhibitions, notably at Rose Issa Projects in London. International exhibitions include Artspace in Dubai, The Silk Road Gallery in Tehran, and the World Cultural House in Berlin. Her work is part of Salsali Private Museum’s collection in Dubai.


Article co-posted on Pavilion33
Image courtesy of Artspace Gallery 

Find out more about Azar Emdadi here