You Are Not Alone Exhibition
Momeni's subjects of photography are the women who’s
inner Anima is their guardianand worries about them. These
are women who are present in every corner of this universe,
and while their flesh is exhibited forsnobby eyes,their
quintessence spirits are released in the boundless space
wondering about the woman'sessence more than anything
her photos, architectural spaces find meaning by women.
It seems all houses, vaults, and passages have been constructed
just for a woman so that she can accommodate, imprison
or keep herself in; however, she takes wing and flies
like a petal in the wind in her divine ascent to the welkin
Momeni's photo called "Eblis" is not of less
artistic quality than Edward Munch's "scream".
It reveals the inner fury in a light passing over the
time and place, and only in this passing speed might the
encounter with demon be possible. Otherwise, I would rather
call this work "volition" or "determination".
Mina Momeni's photos are kind of a reconstruction of great
painters' works. "Anahita" and "Gol Khatun"
which simultaneously depict different angles of the same
face reminds us of a distinct Picasso painting which is
both transparent and semi-transparent. She delegates the
paintbrush's duty to the camera. Although, I tried to
judge the artist's works from the catalogue and invitation
brochure, I do know that she will be the meeting point
of painting and photography considering her scientific
I keep my fingers crossed to enjoy more of her works in
the coming years.
Hejazi / 2007
" I Talk on behalf
of them by Lens "
Momeni is a young photographer to whose exhibition of
photos we were witness before. The exhibition, titled
“You Are not alone”, composed of 17 photos.
It was held in Elahe Gallery and pictured women who are
present in every part of the world. In Mina Momeni’s
photos, the architecture environments are meaningful with
the presence of woman, and it seems that the houses and
hallways are built for the woman. With the excuse of the
Fair’s title, we go to have a short talk with her
about the artist woman.
Please introduce Mina Momeni in a few sentences.
I have Painting Diploma from Imaginary Arts Academy. I
am also a BA graduate of photography. Until now, I have
had 3 individual and 14 group exhibitions inside and outside
It seems that “Woman” is one of your favorite
issues in photography, why?
Woman is a complicated creation. In the course of history,
as all human life dimensions have revolutionized, Woman
has also changed during the revolutions; a change that
has made her more complicated. Our women’s complexities
have increased, while attempt to know and understand them
is still insignificant. Lack of sufficient recognition
of women in society, has made women more isolated.
And is that why you have named your exhibition “You
Are Not Alone”?
Yes, I have felt this emptiness in many women.
The footstep of fables can be seen in your photos. Even
you have taken the name of your pictures from mythical
In human beings, there are characteristics and qualities
whose allegories can be found in the myths. For example,
Zahak is a symbol of cruelty and heartlessness. In my
photos, I have tried to picture mythical women, and infuse
women’s dynamism, movement and change to the viewer’s
mind at the same time.
And what is the role of colorful and lively scarves in
These scarves are somehow the symbols of my subjects’
thought; an Eastern thought which I have tried to picture
besides all changes and transitions of today’s woman.
In your colored photos, Red can be seen tangibly, why?
I believe Red is the best choice to inspire excitement,
madness, and all the changes in my mind.
What was your purpose of taking all the pictures in traditional
spaces, and using black background in black and white
I wanted the space of my pictures to be dramatic. I couldn’t
approach the theme of fables in a closed space. The fables
come from the ancient world. Some of my photos are taken
in the Great Mosque of Saveh and Isfahan.
As an artist woman, how do you analyze the position of
the artist woman?
I think this expression is a fantasy slogan. We have a
lot of artist women in our country, but not much attention
is paid to them as it should. Unfortunately, our artist
women are disadvantaged of the least facilities that artist
men are equipped with.
Do you mean financial facilities?
I mean financial, cultural, … facilities. The number
of men, who can refer to foreign countries to expose their
works with the government’s support, is much more
than the number of women. Basically, in spite of all difficulties,
there are fewer obstacles in front of artist men.
Have women really attempted to attain such facilities?
Yes, to a certain extent. However, sometimes the situation
is so annoying that we prefer to proceed independently
trusting our own capacities and even financial abilities.
Do you believe an artist man’s insight differs from
an artist woman’s?
Yes, the difference in their insights -from choosing the
subject to the kind of offering the work and classifying
the theme- exists, and influences the work step by step.
However, I think we can not always determine certainly
if the creator of a work is a man or woman by just one
look. Possibly, sometimes a man creates an infinitely
emotional and soft artistic work, while a woman creates
a very heartless work at some time.
Which difficulties are women photographers involved with
mostly? Could you easily go to the heart of the society
and people to find your ideal subject?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Certainly, it is more
difficult for a lady to take pictures in the street; particularly
the areas in which people’s insight regarding women
are the same as old insight. In these areas, the presence
of a woman with a camera in her hand is not accepted easily,
and people look at her so surprisingly and uncertainly
as if they are confronted with a strange and unheard-of
creation. These looks, behaviors, and gatherings influence
the person’s self-confidence up to a great extent.
However, as I told, being a woman sometimes helps. For
example, a lady photographer can take pictures from women
-especially rural and tribal women- more easily than a
man photographer without facing with the prejudice and
disagreement of those women’s husbands.
How the women in the traditional societies encounter you
as a woman photographer?
Very good. Although sometimes they disagree at fist, but
they accept very soon and cooperate, as if you are a representative
of the women society that are supposed to speak on the
behalf of them through the lens of the camera.
In the trips which you go for photography, are you alone
It depends. It’s not possible to go to some trips
alone, because it’s dangerous and it doesn’t
depend on being a man or woman. In these cases, I try
to go to the place with another photographer.
Why with another photographer?
Because a photographer may stop in a place for a long
time for photography, and a non-photographer gets tired
during these long hours.
Could the young girls who are interested in photography
choose this are as their main profession, or financial
problems will force them to look at it only as a second
job and art?
Photography is my only source of income. In this job,
you cannot expect a regular monthly income as an office
job at first. There is no insurance and other certain
facilities, but you may achieve this goal by double persistence,
effort and knowledge.
Shahrzad Abdiye | Tehran Emrooz Newspaper | Dec.23.2007