An Elegy for the Death of Hamun

The work of the artist Hashem Shakeri, through a palette drained of all vitality, tells the drought and how the resultant crisis is changing the province of Sīstān in Iran.

This article was originally published on Domus 1037, July 2019

As you gaze at Hashem Shakeri’s latest work, it is difficult not to believe, at first glance, that you are looking at photographs of a film set, a surreal theatrical piece en plein air, the staging of some folkloric myth, handed down by tradition but that no one could ever have lived through. For the arid fresco of An Elegy for the Death of Hamun, the Iranian artist chose a palette drained of all vitality.

With subliminal yet tactile immediacy, each colour recounts the
twenty-year drought and the resultant crisis, ecological and social, that is now transforming the province of Sīstān into a phantom land. Hence history unfolding in the light of the day, which the spectral beauty of these images heightens and denounces through the ambivalence of photographic art.  

An Elegy for the Death of Hamun
Hashem Shakeri

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