On Joubeen Mireskandari’s Recent Photography Series
Silkroad Gallery Online Exhibition
To me, these creations of Joubeen Mireskandari are not photos. Neither are they a narrative, a travel diary, nor just a film, or a photo-painting like his first series “Blackened”, and not even the representation of his locale…
They are more in the nature of capturing a soul and bottling it.
The soul of the snow-covered valley,
For one such as myself who has been Joubeen’s companion through many years and decades, it is an invitation for a walk. To wander about his house, in Lavasan. But not a walk like all the previous treads…this one is a traverse through snowy and cold dusk.
Unaware, towards nowhere.
In the midwinter chill
It is winter…
When we meet, we embrace and begin our walk, in silence. The only sounds are the falling of the snowflakes on my cap, and the occasional croak of a raven faraway. The swishing of the footsteps…
The heavy body of the snow swallows the existence.
We descend on the slopes one after the other and climb up again. Occasionally the body of a separating wall blocks our way, hung between the soil and air, a tall mass of rocks. The wall speaks, with a low stretched voice. A talk with the heavy wall. He tells us: “careful! This place is not as safe as it is beautiful, but it is much fascinating and deeper than what you think.”
It is worth the hardships of this road.
In this walk like Dante, we are not heading for heaven or hell, but we walk towards a purgatory.
The snowfall is faster now… the snow is stuck in its own purgatory much like us as it is busy writing a piece in white ink. It vitiates, and at the same time covers everything, blurs all, and reconstructs it.
After a light, all snow does is disrupt…
It is clearly not unclear.
The fragile body of the trees, the stone walls, the stairs, the alleyways, or even the human trash… are all sunk into silence in heavy smog. The carriage fallen into the valley is perhaps a symbol of a civilization that has lost its way, that is futile. With nowhere to go.
Traversing in this world is in no way linear and direct. A “stalker” system goes about it. There is no direct way and the shortest and easiest path is not necessarily the best route! And the return is not guaranteed.
Emphasis on what the text (or body) never reveals, what it hides. What it swallows in itself.
More illumination and clearance and higher quality as we seek with ever-growing hunger in the pictures or representations do not necessarily bring forth a better or deeper understanding or interpretation of the world. Here the photographer has used various technical and visual elements such as snow, fog, shadows, trees, humans, paths, walls, bad lighting, to create a vague texture. And in the end with wrapping all these in a cloak of grey, he organizes an installation that is not merely the representation of the object or a structural concept but is the creation of a unique space. A space that can be a gateway to a deep world. A world that is not necessary to observe but more to create a decomposed clarification. To fly into the depths of free and perpetual imagination. With companions known for ages.