Conceal Disclose / Art Exhibit

May 8, 2009
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Host: Art League Houston

Art League Houston: 713.523.9530 
Photography exhibit by Tala Vahabzadeh:

Tala Vahabzadeh’s current series of photographs are based on her personal experience of being an Iranian/Muslim woman undercover since she was nine years old. These works seek to show the conflicting worlds of tradition (public life) and modernity (personal life) and the effect this conflict has in the lives of contemporary women in Iran. Through simple, fairy tale like stories, Vahabzadeh uses the image of the veil in both its traditional iconic sense, and as a metaphor of the lack of freedom.

Herself as subject, Vahabzadeh uses various props and arrangements, and different printing processes to create the appropriate ambience and atmosphere needed to expose the meaning behind her untitled pieces. In one work, the fully veiled Vahabzadeh perches high in the branches of a tree. The image of a woman as a bird is based on a common joke in Iran that compares a woman wearing full veil to a black crow. In another photograph, the artist is hunched down, surrounded by greenery, as though in a garden. Again fully veiled, she munches on an apple, and on top of her head she wears a mask, which depicts the typical face of innocence in Persian Miniatures. As one might guess, this photo is a metaphor for Eve and the original sin. By not covering her face with the mask, Vahabzadeh asserts herself as a normal woman, who like any other woman is not that innocent, and is subject to on occasion doing “wrong” things.

Vahabzadeh says “These photographs are a representation of how I feel about being forced to cover myself and how in constantly being physically censored, I both consciously and unconsciously apply that censorship to my personal life.”

The exhibit is from May 8th through June 19th. Opening reception is on May 8th from 6:00 – 8:00.

For more information, click here.




Venue: Art League Houston

Address: 1953 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77006