Tuesday, May 5, 2009

talking to: Aida Chehrehgosha

Photo © Aida Chehrehgosha

I was to meet Aida in the café next to the gallery where her master degree exhibition is on show. This is Konstfack the largest university college of arts, crafts, design and art education in Sweden. The University has recently moved to the southern part of Stockholm occupying a space near the Ericsson
facilities. This is historic Ericsson ground in Stockholm and the metro station is even called "Telefonplan".

I find the localities of Konstfack quite sterile and not too inviting. But when getting to Aida's exhibition, there is a change in mood. Big gestures, strong feelings...this is a drama very different from the stylish or posed. This is for real. It completely blows me away.

The pictures with the staged death of Aida's parents are horrifying, emotional...they are the ones that moves me most. Knowing that all photos are of her mother and father. So much pain, so much sorrow.

Maria Patomella said something important about this series, it is about "
meeting a family seeking for reconciliation."

I am also looking at two huge (125x200cm) portraits of Aida's parents
amazed by the brilliant quality of the prints. She has used a large formate camera for these pictures.

It is good to talk to Aida. I think we have a quite similar approach when looking at photography and what photography can do. She actually works like a film director when making her photos. I ask her about a picture from the square in Skärholmen, a very familiar place to me. 
My suggestion is that it is a montage. Not because of the two astronauts, but because the square is empty of people and there is no litter lying around. Aida explains her way of working with a project. She describes how she tries to focus on the original idea and uses a kind of "tunnel vision" to make it a reality.

Her photography is in a way "straight photography". The pictures are of course edited in the digital darkroom, but I can't say that it is overdone. The story about the picture in Skärholmen says a great deal about her way of working.

After a period of preparations she went there with her "crew" one Sunday morning in December. She tells me that she even cleaned up some of the waste. The astronauts are people in hired costumes and the camera she is using has "old fashioned" film.
 Photo © Aida Chehrehgosha

I have to ask about how she managed to get her father to put on the rabbit mask. She tells me that he is a person who takes himself seriously. So, how did she do it? "Well, I just asked him to put it on. And he did". Aida says that her father came to see her exhibition.

Her parents are separated but her mother has seen the exhibit too and so has her brothers. "They are the only ones I´ve got here in Sweden". In Iran there is a big family. When Aida went to see them she was overwhelmed by the reception. It was a memorable experience to her seeing her family in Iran and to experience their culture, so rich in its history and its art.

 Aida's work is very cinematic, I will not be surprised if she will continue making films along with still photography. She has got the integrity, the skills and the vision. I am impressed by her professionality and ambition. There are a few photographers in my country that I think has the potential of becoming important and stand in the forefront of the future photography of Sweden. Aida is one of them.

So you better learn how to spell her last name. It is Cheh-reh-gosha.

Text and pictures of Aida
©Ulf Fågelhammar

3 comments:

Estefanía said...

the astronauts in Skärholmen is great. Should be blown up and zoomed in a little !

Mikael said...

Well written and performed with a great personal touch, very interesting and I look forward to see more from Aida

beatriz said...

Aida is certainly a talented and interesting artist...i wish her luck and opportunity to pursue her artistic career. !