ROYA AMIGH

Artist statement

 

In my current project « Absolutism and sexuality », I focus on women’s social history and identity at the intersection of the categories “gender” and “sexuality”. I am reflecting on the roles of women and the importance of their voices in social movements and women’s rights protests. I do these in drawing where I combine thread and paper and my own version of a contemporary Persian miniature as well as collected photos on the internet.

A Persian miniature is an illustration of texts, mostly classical Iranian literature and It is made of vivid gouache paint on paper. I am modifying the Persian miniature by eliminating most of the colors, reforming the figures and sometimes their genders, giving the strong quality of line and textile to it. I recreate many Persian miniatures by gluing thread on paper – first I put the glue with a pin on paper, drawing the reformed imagery with glue, then I put the thread over them. I make many of these tiny drawings, then assemble them into fragmented pieces, which all are stitched to each other by a thread to build up the work. Persian miniature has tremendous characters, symbols, and mythical beings, which I am furnishing with my own feminist interpretations and interweaving them with the new narration of the real events that I know first-hand.

I am narrating the real events that happen to the women, by remembering them and rethinking the experiences and effects of living within them in everyday life from a third-person point of view in my work. I integrate these collective memories with folktales and classic Iranian literature, which has gender differentiation. Most of the classical literature written by men has subjugation of sexuality, but the folktales mostly narrated by women have the liberation of sexuality. I am also utilizing this gender differentiation, which is interlocking with the erotic desires and frustrations in response to the social and cultural values, in the narration of my work. I aim to establish connections between societies that are too easily dismissed as Other; and aims to demonstrate that all violence against women is related, even as cultural practices may differ. In my newest piece, I am connecting The Women to Drive Movement in Saudi Arabia, Argentina’s MeToo movement abortion, and the lives of Harriet Tubman and Nasrin Sotoudeh-a human rights lawyer in Iran.

 

Roya Amigh,
Boston, 2022