In the work of Parastoo Ebneali, the link between photography and the environment is central. In her ongoing project Anti-landscape, the photographer looks at Tehran’s changing landscape as a result of cultural, economic, and political interventions.
Growing up in the buzzing city of Tehran, Ebneali gradually felt the need to distance herself from the urban bustle and began to seek refuge in the bucolic outskirts of the city. However, as a consequence of urban expansions, she realized that the separation between the city and its more natural surroundings was blurring. In Tehran, where mountains used to dominate the scenery, the continuous proliferation of buildings and construction sites has increasingly overshadowed the natural landscape. Ebneali photographed different areas of of the city where this expansion has disproportionately altered the landscape.
The carved “X”, reminiscent of Thomas Barrow’s Cancellation series, symbolizes the artist’s protest against systematic, capitalist, and irregular growth. Ebneali’s series—which combines this carved “X” with images of desolate construction sites—is a mordant social commentary on the destruction of space, as well as an urgent call for its preservation.
The work of Parastoo Ebneali is part of the group exhibition Space to Breathe, curated by Newsha Tavakolian and on display in the Grote Kerk Breda.
Parastoo Ebneali (b. 1976,Tehran, Iran) graduated with an MA in Photography from the London Metropolitan University. Over the past decade, she has exhibited her photographs in Iran and London. The culmination of her series Now We Will Prosper? was published in Uncertain States (Issue No. 12). Ebneali is also a lecturer at Shariaty University.
Location: Grote Kerk