Azadeh Behkish is a student of photography from the Arts University of Tehran. In her recent collection, she is appearing in front of the camera, not by herself, nor directly, but through angled and tangled mirrors and along with her friends, or shall we say peers.
We see ourselves in the mirror every day. It is a portal for our loneliest moments. We open it and look at the outside world (the world of appearances) to excavate our inner being. But have we looked at ourselves and our peers in one or several mirrors? These are peers that at some point entered our lives and formed our immediate environment. Can we look at our inner aggression, joy, and excitements through our social peers?
I look at Azadeh's pictures. A group of young women are scattered in an unknown room in front of mirrors. Most face either the camera or the mirrors, separated from each other but together. They are sequestered in this room bearing a sad or indifference expression. The photographer also appears in some of the pictures and, "by doing this I have announced my neutrality," she says, "much like when we gather for a group memorial picture." This is a type of photography we are all familiar with. Never on such occasions is the photographer considered significant. She is only the owner of the camera. She is the one who purchases the film and eventually develops it. She also appears in some of the pictures, with camera usually on the timer, or in the hands of a bypasser.
When I ask Azadeh about her appearance on the picture with a shaved head, she points to the Islamic dress code, "I couldn't show my pictures in any magazine," without the mandatory head cover. But the law allows women to appear bareheaded in public, and that is the way she will appear in the pictures, while her friends will keep their scarves.
Azadeh sees photography before its entrance into the commercial art market as a medium, pure and simple. As such, the photographer is doing one thing here: she is bringing her friend together for a group pictures. Later, with the development of the work, the original idea evolves.
I must add that I wanted to writer a critical essay about Azadeh's work, but this is not the place for it, where the aim is to simply introduce a photographer who shows considerable talent in her art. Perhaps we will soon see her work exhibited publicly and I would get a chance to write more on it in detail.