Mehraneh Atashi, 'Bodiless I', from the series 'Zourkhaneh Project' (House of Strength)

Mehraneh Atashi, 'Bodiless I', from the series 'Zourkhaneh Project' (House of Strength)

Mehraneh Atashi
Born Tehran, Iran, 1980. Lives Tehran
'Bodiless I', from the series 'Zourkhaneh Project (House of Strength)'
2004
Digital c-print
British Museum: 2099, 6035.1
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum

Mehraneh Atashi explores the relationship between photography and power in her ongoing investigation into the possibilities of self-portraiture. Her photographic series reveal lesser-known aspects of Iranian life.

This photograph shows the inside of a zurkhana, a traditional Iranian wrestling gym, in Tehran. The artist has explained that ‘tradition forbids the breath of women’ in the zurkhana. Atashi includes herself in the scene through a reflection in a mirror. This picture within a picture emphasises her incongruous presence in a place from which women are normally excluded.