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by Amak Mahmoodian

Published Nov 2019

Co-published by IC Visual Lab & RRB Photobooks 
Photographs I Amak Mahmoodian
Archive Photographs I Golestan Museum
Book concept I Amak Mahmoodian & Alejandro Acín
Editing I Amak Mahmoodian, Aaron Schuman & Alejandro Acín
Design I Alejandro Acín
Scanning and post-production I Louis Little
Softcover Size: 154 x 234 mm 146 pp

Winner of Best Photo-Text Book at Les Recontres de Arles (France) (2020)

David Camapany for FOAM Magazine
Rachel Spence for FT Magazine

Amak Mahmoodian’s Zanjir (Translation: “chain”) curated by Alejandro Acín (ICVL) presents a body of photographs that cross great distances – reaching through history to bring the earliest images of Iranian photography into the present, across oceans to invite Mahmoodian’s family and friends; and across the border between life and death.  In 2004, Mahmoodian visited the Golestan museum and undertook an archival research project lasting two years. The Golestan Archives are located in central Tehran, which was once a home for Qajars, the kings’ wives, Harem women, and their relatives. Mahmoodian uses selected historical photographs as masks, asking her loved ones to hold the prints in front of them, framing her own kingdom and centering the sorrow of separation she feels for them as she lives and works three thousand miles away.  The images will be surrounded by fragments of an imagined conversation – between Amak, and Princess Taj al-Saltanah, an Iranian princess who lived at the end of the 19th century. Considered a trailblazer for women’s rights in 19th century Iran, she defied her family and government and advocated for equality and democracy. In al-Saltanah, Mahmoodian has found a mirror, and in each other, these women find the opportunity to be vulnerable; ruminating on their individual experiences of family, distance, powerlessness, yearning, and hope.