Ali Zanjani: Military Makeup

Friday January 25, 2019 – Friday March 1, 2019.

Ag Galerie has the pleasure of inviting you to Ali Zanjani’s solo exhibition titled “Military Makeup” opening on Friday January 25th, 2019.

Zanjani (Esfahan, 1986) is a Tehran-based artist who creates work by appropriating film stills from cinematic, educational and news archives formerly owned by the pre-Revolution National Iranian Broadcasting Company. These films, once popular sources of Western entertainment and reference, were after the Revolution discarded due to their un-Islamic and un-Iranian appearance. By selecting specific frames and removing them from their original context, he re-censors images thus getting the censorship board’s approval.
This series of photographs comes from an archive of ID photos taken in Kia Studio on Bahar Street which was owned and operated by Mr Arbab from 1974 until his death in 2005. The archive was sold off by his family and five years ago, Zanjani discovered them in a resale shop. After scanning and archiving the images, Zanjani discovered that the images revealed Iran’s thirty-year history through the hair styles, fashions and makeup of the subjects. This series of eleven photographs, depict soldiers who did not wish to cut their hair for their end of service ID photo. Arbab developed the unique technique to conceal and edit their hairstyles using a red marker. This unintentional yet graphic painterly treatment will now be presented by Zanjani in a posthumous collaboration with Arbab.

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