Shadi Ghadirian

Qajar, 1998

How do we see ourselves today, how do we see women: the woman of today, yesterday and tomorrow, where are these temporal boundaries drawn and, where do we stand vis-à-vis these boundaries? These are faces of women in the past, the women of the Qajar era (1785-1925), of the Constitutional era (1905-1907), at which point, a new way of living was inaugurated. But where are the boundaries drawn? Is art supposed to lay them bare and go beyond them? The temporal geography of my imagination is all muddled. To me, a woman, an Iranian woman, a woman like me, is a combination of all these unknown boundaries that separates tradition from modernity. These are boundaries that move geographies through time and cover me in the attire of yesterday and reveal a Qajar woman next to elements of today. In my view, reality is not what takes place in the world outside. Reality can be an image that I have constructed of “me” or of “women.”