Gohar Dashti’s spaces, abandoned and invaded by vegetation, are a metaphor for displaced people who abandoned their homes, fleeing from the devastation of war and massacres, oppression and death. The backdrop of her work is the war between Iran and Iraq, which lasted eight years, ending in 1988 with a tragic death toll of one million. Dashti grew up in Ahvaz, a city close to the frontier with Iraq, and it is unsurprising that the concept of borders, imposed by nations, culture and geography as well as physical and psychological limitations, should play such a central part in the work of this photographer. What happens to the environment when the population is displaced or destroyed by war? What happens when someone leaves their house behind? Is home a physical or a psychological concept? Dashti explores the relationship between human beings and landscape. Her images show the supremacy of nature, unpredictable and eternal, and the loss of human control over space, in a narrative that fuses personal, political and botanical.
Gohar was born in Ahvaz, Iran, in 1980 and she lives and works in Teheran. She received her M.A. in Photography from the Fine Art University of Tehran in 2005. She has participated in several art residencies and scholarships such as MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH, USA (2017), DAAD award, UdK Berlin, DE (2009-2011); Visiting Arts (1Mile2 Project), Bradford/London, UK (2009) and International Arts & Artists (Art Bridge), Washington DC, USA (2008). She has held various exhibitions around the world, being shown in many museums, festivals and biennales. Her works are in many collections including Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (JP), Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston (USA), Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (USA), National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (USA), Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), Chicago (USA) and Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (FR)