Aida Chehrehgosha

To Mom, Dad and My Two Brothers

Aida Chehrehgosha’s photographs are not for the faint of heart. Her artistic work is often violent and always intense; it touches deeply, it creates a feeling of discomfort. There is no escape when one is standing in front of her sombre photographs, the beholder is inevitably drawn into them. Chehrehgosha, born 1980 in Teheran, emigrated to Sweden with her parents and two younger brothers in the late 1980’s.

Chehrehgosha’s works are a systematic and controlled construction of her own memories in which she deals with the taboo subject of family violence and abuse. In the exhibition “To Mom, Dad And My Two Brothers ” Swedish Photography presents works from her series Dead Parents (2008), The scapegoats (2006) and Kap. V (2008). In the series Dead Parents, Aida stages her parents´ death in a variety of circumstances. The anger she felt towards her parents for what they had done was so strong that she sometimes imagined them both dead. Though the situation was originally driven by hatred, Chehrehgosha actually considers her parents’ performance of their own death as a declaration of deep love and forgiveness.

In The Scapegoats Chehrehgosha takes another approach to the topic, as she portrays her parents wearing different animal masks. A serie that also started as a degrading revenge towards the parents but ended up as a shameful wakeup call for the artist when she suddenly saw the vulnerability in their faces. Both series involving her parents are characterized by a deep antagonism: on the one hand, Chehrehgosha felt a lot of hatred towards her parents, while on the other hand she still had a huge amount of love for them, an inner conflict, which almost tore her apart.

The intense inner struggle of dealing with her abusive family situation and her own feeling of fear and powerlessness is the central topic of Kap V. The setting of this large format work is a foggy, dark battlefield on which a multiplied Aida Chehrehgosha fights her everlasting internal fight against herself.

Aida Chehrehgosha holds a Master’s Degree from the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm). She lives and works in Stockholm.