Sara Rahbar

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Sara Rahbar’s work often incorporates traditional costumes and textiles in order to express a sense of loss and displacement. The artist, whose family fled Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, graduated from Central Saint Martins College in London and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and recently returned to Tehran to live and work. Like other artists who fled devastation and war, Rahbar’s work is about understanding the memory of and longing for her homeland, while existing trapped between two radically different cultures. In her series After You, a female figure in Ghajar costume is alone in what resembles a magical, castle-like space, with opulent sparkling walls that glitter with pink and gold. The figure is portrayed in four positions behind semi-translucent veils or curtains, addressing the viewer through various actions. This series of images is transformative in its juxtaposition of the female figure’s active stance within an architectural space that engages the cultural trope of Orientalism.


After You # 17, 2007
Courtesy the artist
Photo Hossein Ghourchian