Tehran

2007-2008

Series of 43

 

Reza Nadji visited the homeland of his parents where he had never lived and returned with an impressive portrait of a city rife with contradictions. In Teheran, he encountered a blatant discrepancy between the Islamic lifestyle dictated by the state and the lifestyle of the real world.

For here, the longings of a western-oriented youth are confronted with the prohibitions of the Ayatollah, and capitalist temples of consumption stand side by side with socialist architecture. For this series of Tehran streetscapes, he photographed the city in winter and found it crusted in ice and

snow. Architectural images but also cityscapes, his pictures capture multi-story murals painted on the sides of buildings, signposts devoid of messages and a strong sense of the quotidian.

 

Nadji's stance is largely apolitical (at least on the surface); he prefers to plumb the weirdness that arises when millions of people come together in urban places.

 

At first glance, his images seem like architectural photography. For the most part, Nadji avoids depicting people in his photos, especially at places, where one would normally expect to see them in doing so, he causes the viewer to reflect upon the situation of the Iranian people.