Born Tehran, Iran, 1960. Lives San Francisco, USA
Hand-manipulated pigment print
British Museum: 2009, 6030.1
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum
Taraneh Hemami explores issues of cultural identity, preservation and representation, specifically among the Iranian/Iranian-American diaspora community. She often starts with personal or communal archival material and remakes it in a variety of media, while drawing attention to the crafting of images for propaganda purposes.
This work is based on mugshots downloaded from a US government website shortly after 9/11. Hemami digitally manipulates the faces to such an extent that any identifying features of the individuals are blurred away. She further defaces the images by scratching into the surface of the print. The sparse visual information that remains, such as headscarves, suggests western stereotypes of Muslims.