Photographer

Video Art

I am a Team Player

In this video, I wanted to show the complicated network of power relationships that an ordinary migrant falls into when s/he comes to the west. They mostly come to simply find a job and provide for their family. This is a very innocent desire. But they suddenly find themselves within a complicated network whose grammar and logic they are unable to work with. On the one hand, there is the language barrier. They have to learn a new language, and this is not an easy task, especially when you are not young any- more. A migrant’s experience of the English language is very different from the one that most of the British population have. Then they have to learn how to get jobs in a highly competitive environment. The formulated language of job interviews sounds quite absurd to someone who comes from a less capitalist society. On the top of that, there is state surveillance and control. Everything is highly militarized and securitized. I wanted to show how this intertwined network of seemingly unrelated entities works as a unified totality.

 

I combined the Screen Interview questionnaire with sentences that we were taught in the English class. Then, I got a computer-based application to read the text out. It took me several months to finally come to a resolution with regard to the video to accompany this audio. I come from a background as a social documentary photographer. I didn’t want to loose my connection to documentary. At the same time, I was looking for a mode of constructed documentary, in which I, myself, would be one understated part of an ensemble. The audio is now played with a video of myself sat on the steps of iconic Piccadilly Circus, having an ice cream amongst the regular central London crowd.

 

The image of myself, almost invisible while having an ice cream in the middle of a bigger crowd corresponds to the situation of an ordinary migrant in this network. The video is centred around one of London’s main tourist attractions but it doesn’t give a particular sense of having arrived somewhere or achieved anything. Nonetheless, the video congeals a systemic network in a unified totality: the people and the economy (symbolized in the advertisements and in the background). It seems as if I am killing time while eating an ice cream, rather than really going anywhere. There doesn’t seem to be any great pleasure in the act. This is emphasised by the people who randomly wander around, leave the frame and sometimes come back again. Only after I watched the video, I realized that the image is quite tragicomic, in a Beckettian way.

 

The following picture is a screen-shot of this video art.

 

Omid Salehi – 2015

Galleries...

Book

Video Art

In this booklet I’m going to share the conversations I had with my landlord over 5 months. Dealing with him showed me the real life in the UK. Not the one that you read in books or see in movies. An unofficial but true experience.

This video shows my passport picture. And it depicts how irritated i get when I am at a passport control and get bombarded and interrogated with thousands of un-related questions.

Video Art

Video Art

Video Art

This work compares a child's exciting attempts to acquire fundamental skills to my own struggles with learning basic necessities to cope with the new world.

Here, the cliché of James Bond, shot in London, resonates with the question about migrants’ labour and their everyday life.

In this video I wanted to show the complicated network of power relationships that an ordinary migrant falls into when s/he comes to the west.

Sound & Photography

Art Photography

Art Photography

A close look at Soho brothels: "Their rooms were colourful and intimate — yet still the scenes of rough, cold sadness."

A blend of my life in Iran and Britain depicted in a virtual trip by Google Maps.

"Being a child on the front line, surrounded by a heavy military presence, was surreal. Like many teenage recruits there, I didn’t fear the war..."

Video Installation

Newspaper

Book

A group video installation about censorship: this project was inspired by a small collection of unfinished Michelangelo paintings, on display at the National Gallery.

A self-narrative about the quest to find a new home.

Facebook stories of the Iranian diaspora.

Multimedia

Art Photography

Art Photography

While many people immigrate their roots remain untouched. This project is about people who have a fractured live torn from their loved ones.

A journey into the last days of a most courageous girl, who fought her brain tumour, right to the end.

Walking along any street, there’s a chance of an eye watching you from behind a two-way mirror, or a doorbell camera. All of a sudden your privacy is gone.

Documentary

Documentary

Documentary

The lives of truck drivers are hard: they long for homeliness — which they try to create through images of celebrities, and verses from the Quran, etc.

Many people pose in front of these, clearly unrealistic collages of the Imam Reza Shrine, as a souvenir of their pilgrimage.

A journey to south of Iran where sugar cane workers burn the canes before harvesting them. They cut the cane with a sharp sickle and frequently injure themselves.

 

Documentary

Documentary

Documentary

A dancer who was prisoned for two years after the Islamic Revolution founded a private dance after she was freed.

 

An after effect of Iran-Iraq war the was portrayed in the life of a soldier who spent his last 18 years of life in a coma.

 A glimpse of a cleric's daily life in Iran who was the religious teacher of young "Talebs" (students).

Documentary

Documentary

Documentary

"Champion mother" was tattooed on Bahram's arm. A street boy who was forced to go to the streets and perform acrobatic techniques to provide for the family.

She takes the boat all the way into the heart of the sea, sits quietly in her boat, she pulls up her net and takes her daily ration.

These homeless children in Shush Square, one of the most deprived regions in Tehran, snatched watermelons from moving vans.

Documentary

Documentary

Documentary

Vaccination was my first series from 1990, when I was still 17. Its concept and mission were to showcase children’s pain, via their mothers’ faces.

Iranian men must spend two years to fulfill the compulsory military service and they have stories to tell for the rest of their lives.

The life of mentally ill in Salami Village in Shiraz. Some patients died because of infections caused by eating their own faeces.

 

All images Copyright © Omid Salehi