Metaphysics is the building block of philosophy in elemental form. It is a structure for interpreting or filtering the shared world around us to expand consciousness beyond a constricted view.
Metaphysicians task themselves with what, exactly, it means for a representation to be identical to the self. Can this be? How do we account for perceptions and assumptions based on past experience, or even our own assumptions about the future? Does identity interface with linguistic or symbolic expressions? Beyond a scientific understanding of the brain and body, expression remains elusive divided between the self and other.
Metaphysical Resistant experiments with symbol, barrier, and self-representation through photography and paint. I chose to work in a New York City studio that had a large indoor window. This served as both my canvas and an intentional obstacle between my subjects and my audience—a surface they needed to penetrate in order to be heard. I collaborated with a painter, who improvised graphic forms on the glass, smearing and repainting the surface while I photographed. The resulting lines, circles, and triangles blocked parts of the bodies, while smears from multiple erasings left traces of the past that are open for interpretation.
This series is aligned with my own initial arrival in the United States from Cyprus by way of Iran. There, I was limited by cultural and societal expectations and rule of law. In the States, I was drawn to the promise of freedom and all of the possibility that comes with it. And yet… Like so many people of color and minorities, I experienced what felt like a restrictive metaphysical frustration with boundaries. In some ways, I was still limited. There was yet another barrier, one much more difficult to comprehend.