face to face, 2020
(Edition 1 of 2)
Single channel , 7:11minutes
Acquisitioned by The City of Joondalup
Overall Winner of the Invitation Art Prize 2020
Judging Panel WA Art Gallery artistic director Ian Strange, Jana Braddock, curator of Goolugatup Heathcote, Max Delany, artistic director of Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and 2019 IAP Winner Recipient, Paul Kaptein.
“face to face” is a moving portrait of stillness and archival chaos, navigating intergenerational identity. The Iran and Pakistan Border marks a pivotal moment between execution and freedom where the artist family fled persecution during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Her mother writes a poem of universality by a celebrated Persian Poet Rūmī, on her brothers face juxtaposed by the visual and vocal monotony that distorts connectivity; being eye to eye, face to face.
Exploring the essence of stillness and chaos, imprints of archival footage and craft, navigating intergenerational and personal identity, following the persecution of Eshraghian- Haakansson’s family as a result of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The non-linear visualization explores three key pivotal concepts; the border sign between Pakistan and Iran, where her family fled persecution and war, marking a pivotal moment between execution and freedom; her mother writing a poem, ‘Only Breath’ by a celebrated Persian poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, on her older brothers face, [the Persian poem speaks of universality and oneness of humanity] and the monotone voice, intense abstract glitches that aim to distort and destabilise the portrait, positioning the viewer to be the witness, rather than a passive bystander. The portrait of the refugee is often dehumanized by the separation of empathy, void of true genuine listening and void of human compassion. During the months of lockdown, Eshraghian – Haakansson explored the value of familial and communal care, especially during a time where global and local destabilisation has become the norm, evoking a personal reflection on connection; being eye to eye, face to face and uncovering what is lost.