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Mastering the Curtains

Mastering the curtains is an artistic photographic investigation into the relationship between visual art and heritage, propaganda and censorship in Iran. The research follows two tracks: the Taziyeh, a cultural expression in Iran that is incorporated as a propaganda instrument by the regime and the censorship of Bahaism and the loss of the associated heritage. The photographic research analyzes the possibilities of critical representation within the visual arts of both slopes.

This is a research within a broad oeuvre that takes architecture as a starting point. Not from the architectural discipline but from its philosophical and political relevance according to identity formation.

Since 2008 Els Vandenmeersch's interest has gradually shifted towards the Middle East, where negation politics with respect to heritage, with neglect as a result, turns into a policy of censorship, with destruction as a result. The subject, architecture, is often subject to current ideological conflicts, whether or not armed. Architecture that has a strong link with identity formation of a minority group is often subject to destruction, sometimes a deliberate tabula rasa with the aim of cultural flattening. Here, in comparison with the projects it initiated in Western Europe, the dividing line between past and present can not be fully realized.

Promoters: Philippe Meers (UA) & Johan Pas (KAA)