heart throbs

Shirin Fathi

By considering gender as performance, this series plays on representations of gender identity in 18th 19 th century Iranian paintings. The men and women in the images of this period have very similar facial and bodily features. At times it is only the style of headgear that distinguishes male from female. By storytelling and role-play, this work explores the notion of gender ambiguity and draws a connection with the Western European painting of the same era. This work uses satire as a tool for political commentary to explore the relationship between man and women and the representation of gender. This is done not only in regards to specific visual-cultural history, but also more widely in relation to contemporary culture in both the Middle-East and the Western world.