Precious Things

The terms of the human body are divided into public and private. From early on we learn the value of our precious body , we learn when to hide it and how , with whom and how to share it and how to act within moral standards and cultural guidelines . The way females learn about their body in a patriarchal society is completely different from the male experiences of the same subject. Little girls learn to hide and save their body for the right time since it is valuable and precious. This structure dose not indicate that a male body isn’t precious : A female body loses its value if shown and revealed to many while the male body keeps its value. This understanding of the female body as a valuable “ thing “ has roots in patriarchal and religious traditions of dominant males in which the female’s body is owned. These roots have gotten deep enough that even many liberal western societies, have the common believe of the precious female body. Growing up in a modern family with educated parents , I experienced the same unconscious learning cycle of the precious body : “ …Why did you tell me to put clothes on and not to show my precious things? Why did you call it precious? — well, it just came to me like that… my mother told me the same thing when I was a little girl… “ . Becoming conscious of this learning cycle, I find myself the only owner of my body and bound to work against these binding taboos and going as far as giving anyone access to my precious things. The experience of living in two different countries with very different traditions has had it’s own mark on this project. This project has formed by finding common points between traditions that might seem impossible to compare but within they have the same results with different intensity. The subject of female body has always been a part of my practice that I have followed from Tehran to France, where I publicly talk about and work on it. In order to bring this subject as public as possible I have chosen to create it in a form of gallery/boutique so that not only the audience can be the witnesses but he or she can purchase and directly take part in the process. The “My precious thing’s boutique” is a symbolic representation of imposing value to the female body and the objectivism structure created for it. I dedicate this exhibition to every person whom approval and disapproval had helped me to move forward and start this ongoing line of works.


Boutique Description 

Created as a pop up boutique “ Mes choses Preciouses” is a multimedia installation which aimes to invite the audience to engage themselves  with the concept created by artist. The Boutique has everything a normal boutique should have : a vendor, a cashier, recipe printer, a comptoir etc. What the boutique offers to it’s “clients” it is sealed envelopes created each year by the artist and each time in 250 editions ( so far 3 editions created : 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017) each edition is sold for a symbolic price of 1 euro and  can only be opened once they are bought.

The vendors explain to their “ clients “ that inside the seal envelope is a printed matter that the artist learned it as her “Precious Things “ while growing up.

Every object used in this installation has been chosen with an specific reason and each of them helps evolve the project : printed and created in Iran, the envelopes are the typical envelopes used for every day mailing, the lead seal is normally used to seal the envelope is what is used by the Islamic government to close down public places for the crimes against islamique law or important act such as Marriage, The printed matter is done on newsprints to give the sense of an ordinary and “ Non precious “ object. 

Since this project is a representation of the artist childhood while living in Iran all the materials used have been brought from Iran.

Beside the boutique itself, the installation includes a video of the artist doing an interview with her mother over seas by Skype asking her about “ My precious things”.

The Boutique aimes to have different placement in different cities and countries and the money received from selling each years editions fonds the next year’s production.

Video Description

An interview between the artist and her mother (about 8 minutes) asking her questions about the term she used “ Precious things”, the conversation continues as artist asked her mother how she came up with this term and why. 

As her mother explains why she thinks a woman’s body is precious the artist notes the differences between boys and girls learning about their body and sexuality growing up.