Hoda Afshar / The In-Between Spaces / October 17 – November 03 2012
Migrants live ‘border lives’ on the margins of different nations, ‘in-between’ contrary homelands. Living at the border, at the edge, requires a new ‘art of the present’. This depends upon embracing the contrary logic of the border and using it to rethink the dominant ways we represent history, identity and community. – Homi K Bhabha, The Location of Cultures, 1994
The In-Between Spaces is a series of photographs, illustrating social parodies based on performative masquerade. The images capture the juxtaposed nature of an identity, which is in transition between paradoxical spaces through migration. Created based on my personal encounters as a migrant in Australia, this series criticize the current nationalistic fantasies that intend to enforce a standard image of what it means to be an Australian. It also depicts the migrant’s resistance to the standardization of identities by emphasizing on their traditional costumes and habits. What makes an individual immigrant suffer is the desire for familiar roots in a foreign land. They occupy pre-existing cultural structures of the host community while at the same time attempt to maintain his/ her own locality. Living ‘in-between’ these opposing spaces alter how an individual conceives the concept of identity, home, border and culture.
Hoda is currently a PhD candidate at the department of Art at Curtin University since 2010. She finished a Bachelor degree in Fine Art – Photography at Azad University of Art and Architecture in Tehran and started her career as a documentary photographer for several years. She moved to Australia in 2007 and pursued her passion for art making by exploring various aspects of photography as well as other mediums such as sculpture and video. In 2010 she started a Masters in Fine Art at Curtin University and expanded her research into a PhD programme. She investigates the academic discourses around contemporary social issues including globalization, imperialism and power relations, displacement and post-identity politics. Her artwork also attempts to open lines of communication in a world both homogenized by global economy and unsettled by mass migration. She tests diaspora, exoticism and altermodern cosmopolitanism for political, artistic and uncanny image-making possibilities.
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