The Oriental Clichés of Parastou Forouhar

“I take visual elements from the oriental clichés familiar to the West, and transfer these into a new context. Elements already deconstructed, the meaning expands beyond the familiar in order to inhibit easy and unquestioning perceptions.”

Parastou Forouhar is a Berlin-based Iranian artist that has just won the prestigious Sophie von La Roche award for her captivating images that examine gender issues and touch on the question of identity.

Coming from a family with a long track record of political activism, she left Iran in 1991 to study in Germany (where she now lives). Back home, her parents were assassinated as part of a state-orchestrated plot to get rid of opposition, and the tragedy deeply marked her art: intolerance, xenophobia and violence are recurring themes in her work, while elements of her cultural baggage as an Iranian are always present…sometimes as a black chador covering her models; sometimes as Persian calligraphy assuming anthropomorphic qualities; and sometimes as images and signs evoking gender discrimination and abuse.

You can check her works at her own website:

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