Unveiling the Layers of Our Past

Unveiling the Layers of Our Past


In my recent artworks, I delve into the intricate layers of history and politics, illuminating the universal recurrence of dark narratives worldwide. The choice of black symbolizes the shared shadows of history, reflecting a commonality among humans that transcends geographic boundaries. In parallel, the vivid red hues signify the blood-soaked pages of the past and present, a visceral portrayal of the perpetual cycle of war and violence etched into our collective memory.

My choice of materials, such as black and red bandages, are intentional. Black bandages, in its depth and darkness, symbolize the often unspoken, marginalized aspects of history. The black bandages that enshroud my rectangular surfaces serve as a visual metaphor for the inherent darkness within our past. Black, deeply rooted in my cultural context as a color of mourning, becomes a powerful representation of the perpetual mourning for the collective experiences of war and historical shadows that linger over our global consciousness. The red bandages unfold a visual story that resonates with the visceral nature of the experiences that shape our world. The intentional aging of the bandages serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of historical events, marked by the passage of time and the indomitable spirit of resilience.

As I work with these layers, I invite my viewers to engage with the layers – of history, identity, and experience – as a means of peeling back the complexities of our shared human narrative. I am continually drawn to the idea of intersectionality, the recognition that our identities, experiences, and struggles are intricately woven together. My art seeks to illuminate the connections between past and present, inviting viewers to contemplate the ways in which history informs our understanding of the present moment.

The use of mirrors within this artistic tapestry adds a profound layer of self-reflection and engagement. Mirrors, with their ability to both capture and challenge our own reflections, introduce an element of introspection and self-awareness to my art. They encourage viewers to confront their own experiences and perspectives in the context of the historical issues and narratives presented. Mirrors, strategically incorporated amidst the black and red bandages, serve as a poignant metaphor for the role of the audience in engaging with history. The reflective surfaces invite viewers to confront their own place within the historical continuum, and become active participants in the dialogue. Mirrors, copper, and dog tags serve as reflective elements, allowing viewers to see themselves within the narrative. Mirrors provide clarity, encouraging a direct confrontation with our role in shaping history. On the other hand, the blurred reflections in copper underscore the ambiguity of our impact, urging contemplation on the consequences of our actions in the tumultuous historical landscape. They are the broken, fragmented mirrors of our identity, altered over time by factors such as being a woman, belonging to a different culture and language, and facing various challenges like immigration or issues related to people of color. Despite these struggles, the significance lies in the broken yet interconnected pieces of the mirror. Together, they reveal that we still exist and we endure.

As an artist, I aim to provide a multi-sensory, reflective journey to encourage introspection, empathy, and dialogue from the viewer. My hope is that in exploring these intersections, both external and internal, we as humans may gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of our shared experiences and find a path toward greater understanding and unity. Through this multi-dimensional visual language of my work, viewers are invited to confront recurring themes that have left an indelible mark on humanity: This serves as a testament to the interconnectedness of our histories where the black and red layers converge and diverge, revealing an ongoing dialogue between shadows and the blood-stained imprints of our collective human experience.

Bahar daee, Art, Artist, Iranian Artist, painting, painter, iranian painter