Un/related Memories [soon]
Ashes and Snow [2023]
Eyes Dazzle As They Search for The Truth [2022]
Life, Death, and Other Similar Things [2019]

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 2024 Foam Talent Award winner. 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. It was subsequently shown with Ag Galerie at the Unseen Art Fair 2023 in Amsterdam. His work has been published in magazines such as Hapax 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 June 2024 with the Belfast Photo Festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A native of Abadan in the province of Khuzestan, Iran's most oil-rich region, and the scene of a 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.

It Won’t Matter to Us Since You Won’t Use Our Film, Critical Review Der Greif Magazine, 2023 [Available to read here]

Staring Back Through TimeEyes Dazzle as they Search for the Truth was created during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Like many other businesses during the pandemic, Ag Galerie, where I worked, closed its doors to the public and began working on its collection of photography archives. Large numbers of photographs and negatives were coming in every week, and part of my job was to sort and scan those. A single 15 by 10 cm print caught my eye among the hundreds of photographs I came across daily. At first, I thought it was a picture of unrest during the Revolution. This curiosity led me to use a loupe to see the photograph's details. It was a photo of a gathering of students in the city of Langarūd in northern Iran. While searching for more information about the image, I noticed that a few people caught within the frame had found the photographer and were staring at their lens. The photograph became even more interesting than I had thought. Their eyes were staring at the camera as if they were not happy with the photographer being there. Whether the photographer took a few frames or the onlookers were staring for a while to be photographed are questions that remain unknown to me.
The quarantine gradually spread to all parts of the country, and more preoccupied with current events, I forgot about the photo. A few questions, however, kept coming back into my thoughts: How photographer's presence always affect the event of photography? Did any protesters of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 find the photographers and stare into their lenses? And if yes, why?

In Magnified ReflectionsThe decision to use photographs of the Islamic Revolution was for the purpose of answering these questions within the context of the most crucial event in the contemporary history of Modern Iran. On the other hand, I also wanted to find individuals more concerned with something more important than the Revolution and the protests around them; I wanted to find people who were unsure whether they were doing the right thing by being there. My search for images of the Revolution led me to a number of Iranian photobooks on the subject of the historical event. I wanted to find my “faces” in the crowds using a loupe and place them alongside one another, creating my own crowd within a photobook. This would create a relationship between the Iranian photobooks of the Revolution and my photobook. Therefore, I started looking for people staring at the camera in the crowds.
Photographing through a magnifying loupe and extracting the faces was an allegory of bringing the Revolution to the present. The magnifying loupe acted as a bridge that united me with the revolutionaries of the past. Their gaze seemed to have been waiting decades to catch mine through my lens. They had wanted to be recorded in history by a camera, and I was now trying to reveal their desire. For me, however, this method restaged the efforts of a fellow revolutionary searching for others to unite with within a crowd. An imagined wall separated the photographer from the subject, much like the separation of actors from the audience as defined in The Fourth Wall - an accepted convention in performance art, theatre, and cinema. While the audience can see through this wall, the convention assumes the act of actors as if they cannot.
This time, it seems that the people in the picture intend to break the convention of The Fourth Wall. They ignore their role and stare at the photographer’s lens. They seem to be intoxicated by the 35mm camera or are, for some reason, cautioning the photographer with their gaze.

It Won’t Matter to Us Since You Won’t Use Our Film
Subjects in Iranian documentaries often speak to the director through the camera with concerns about whether their footage will be broadcast or censored. Perhaps such concerns have ceased to exist with the coming of social media through which subjects can record and broadcast themselves. However, before this, non-actors would often directly question the director. For example, in Through the Olive Trees, directed by Abbas Kiarostami (1995), a group of young girls speak to the director and say, “It won’t matter to us since you won’t use our film.” This curiosity about being recorded – or immortalized in history – whether in the medium of photography or cinema is perhaps one of the reasons why the revolutionaries have stared into the lens.

A Timeless GazeThey all stare back at me – I feel – with a degree of shame or regret... No one knows exactly what they are thinking. Some wear a smile of triumph perhaps knowing that their protest has been fruitful. Others are stunned in a moment of realization that they’ve been caught making a grave mistake. Even the children or teenagers look concerned.
Ultimately, fifty-nine, women, and children are singled out. They are mostly likely unknown to the photographers who captured them among the masses they photographed. 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.