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Negar Farajiani Creates Puzzles from Self-Portraits

Iranian artist Negar Farajiani uses her own self-portrait in a series of puzzles, where she distorts, hides, and reveals her physical appearance and identity. To make the puzzles, Faraijani cuts identical jigsaw pieces from dry mounted photographs. She then reassembles the pieces to create new, slightly chaotic and impractical compositions.

Iranian artist Negar Farajiani uses her own self-portrait in a series of puzzles, where she distorts, hides, and reveals her physical appearance and identity. To make the puzzles, Faraijani cuts identical jigsaw pieces from dry mounted photographs. She then reassembles the pieces to create new, slightly chaotic and impractical compositions.

Self-identified as “a woman and an artist,” her muddled works are political and social commentaries on the complexities of her position as a woman. For example, in “Witness B,” the artist’s mouth is hidden while her dark brown eyes remain wide open. With this action, Faraijani demonstrates that despite seeing certain events, she feels unable ­­‒ forbidden ‒ to provide her account of particular situations and events. This idea of being inferior, of needing to ask for permission, is further emphasized in the title of the work, “Witness B.” “Witness B” is part of a corpus of works that reference a trial. “The Accuser” has her eyes removed while “The Executioner” no longer resembles a face. One may interpret these works as a reference not to a specific trial, but instead to the daily trial women face.

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