Un/related Memories [soon]
Ashes and Snow [2023]
Eyes Dazzle As They Search for The Truth [2022]
Amin Yousefi was born in 1996 in Abadan, Iran and holds an MA in Photography from the University of Westminster. He lives and works as a writer, researcher, and image-based artist in London. He has participated in several group exhibitions and prizes including recently being named a winner of the 2024 Foam Talent Award. His recent project, "Eyes Dazzle as They Search for the Truth," was selected as a finalist of the Carte Blanche Awards at Paris Photo in 2022 and subsequently shown with Ag Gallery at Unseen Art Fair 2023 in Amsterdam. His work has been published in magazines such as Hapax, Source, and Aperture, with the article in which he interviewed three artists on “What It Means to Make Photographs as a Young Artist in Iran”. Yousefi has also undertaken compelling commission works, including the project "Ruderal Acts, Gardening Beyond the Wall," showcased as part of the HerMAP Art Project at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. He was also selected as an Ag Talent for his "Life, Death, and Other Similar Things" project in 2019, exhibited in a solo show at the Ag Galerie. Yousefi has an upcoming display in April 2024 with Circulation(s), at the Centquatre-Paris in France.  A native of Abadan in the province of Khuzestan, Iran's most oil-rich region and the scene of bloody war with neighbouring Iraq, Yousefi's work examines the event of photography through the socio-political aspect of the medium. His primary concern lies in the implications of the archive, exploring violence against protests in the Middle East enacted by the state and how the act of photography can conceptually mirror the structures of these relationships.

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Eyes Dazzle as they Search for The Truth [2022]
How could the sound of a 35mm camera shutter attract the attention of a protestor in a crowd? As if the photographer used a megaphone to say, “One, Two, Three, Cheese...“ and some participants gazed out of the atmosphere to stare at the camera. I want to find my suspects like a detective among the revolutionaries of Iran in 1978-1979. The Iranian revolution stands as a paramount milestone in the Middle East over the past five decades, exerting multifaceted ramifications that have reverberated throughout the region. This project highlights individuals who looked out from among the masses at a crucial moment in history and stared into the lens of a camera. The photographer is usually the one who is in control of the image being captured. The photographer chooses the mise-en-scène by choosing their position. The anticipated relationship has been reversed in these photographs, as the photographer was influenced by the crowds and the eyes that turned towards the camera. As if the subject and object had exchanged places. This reversal of roles had a significant impact, as the people themselves took on the task of capturing the image with their gaze rather than the camera turning towards them. Photographing through a magnifying loupe provided an allegory for extracting photographs of the revolution and bringing them to the present moment. The magnifying loupe acted as a bridge that connected me to the revolutionaries. It seems that their gaze has been waiting for my eyes for decades, filtering through a multitude of lenses and eyes before reaching me. They wanted to be recorded in history by a camera, and I tried to honor their desire for immortality.






 Ashes and Snow [2023]I look at their bodies covered in blood, resting on a hospital floor in the darkness of a night as black as their eyes. A group of unknown adolescents whose identities remain unknown. A forgotten subjectivity, now lying somewhere between the visual testimony and the reconstruction of history, as I inevitably become the preserver of their last, cold gaze. The photos of this project were suggested to me by one of my friends, who bought them from a book and archive dealer in Iran. One hundred and twenty-three prints at  10 x 15 cm, to which several new photos were added later. While browsing the internet, I found a surprising photo David Burnett took during the 1979 Revolution in Iran. It depicted a scene from the protest, with one striking detail in Burnett's photo catching my attention — a man adorning a tattered coat with over thirty small snapshots of SAVAK secret police victims. The photographs attached to the old man's clothes were the same pictures I had.
The young people who had not grown old were no longer present, and a man in his 60s was carrying them. The violence of the images was intolerable, so I inverted them to negatives to make them showable. At the same time as the photographs were inverted, the young men in the images were ageing due to their greying hair. Young people who grew old earlier than they should have. Faces that, if they were alive, would resemble my inverted images today and the man in Burnett’s photo, with the only difference being their breath still encased in their chests. Thin and injured bodies were resting on the floor of a hospital in the darkness of the night, as black as their eyes and covered in blood. A group of unknown people whose identities are unknown to me. They leave me alone between the puzzle of photography and the reconstruction of history. The taunts that I can never answer, and I become the toy of their cold smile.


Left: A pro-Khomeini demonstrator dons a jacket decorated with photographs of victims of the shah’s repression and a hat that reads “Crown of the Martyrs” at a Tehran rally. The pictures are snapshots of SAVAK secret police victims, David Burnett, 1979
Right: Details of “An anti-Shah Demonstrator at a Tehran rally.” David Burnett, 1979
David Burnett captioned the original photo; "The bodies of five people killed in the street fighting lie at the morgue." Only two photographers captured images in the morgue: David Burnett and the unknown photographer who mysteriously appeared in this one of Burnett's photographs.
Young people who grew old earlier than they should. Faces that, if they were alive in those days, would be similar to my inverse images today, with the difference that they could breathe. Thin and injured bodies, resting on the floor of a hospital in the darkness of the night as black as their eyes and covered in blood. A group of unknown people whose identities are unknown to me. They leave me alone between the game of photography and the reconstruction of history. The taunts that I can never answer, and I inevitably become the toy of their cold smile.
At the same time as the photographs were inverted, the young men in the images were ageing due to their greying hair. This new appearance of the corpses unconsciously reminded me of Zal, one of the mythological characters in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh.
Zāl was born in the eastern province of Sistan to a family of legendary warriors who served as generals in the Persian army. His snow-white hair led his parents to name him Zāl, the Persian word for albino. Due to this characteristic, he was immediately rejected by his father, who blamed the evil spirit for his son's appearance. It was ordered that Zāl be abandoned in the Alborz Mountains. Zāl is a symbol of both demons and fairies in the ancient culture of Persia.