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Speak the wind series, 2015-2022

Wall text

Wall text

Hoda Afshar 

Born 1983 in Tehran, Iran.   

Lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne.  

Pronouns: she/her 

Confirm total artworks 

"Untitled #48"
"Untitled #10"
Untitled #30"
"Untitled #34"
"Untitled #88"
"Untitled #44"
"Untitled #18"
"Untitled #47"
"Untitled #53"
"Untitled #9"
"Untitled #29"
"Untitled #24"

"Untitled #28"
"Untitled #6"
"Untitled #62"
"Untitled #8"
"Untitled #11"
"Untitled #55"
"Untitled #2"
"Untitled #15"
"Untitled #57"
"Untitled #45"
"Untitled #50"
"Untitled #51"

pigment photographic prints

Courtesy of the artist 


The wind is an invisible force that is only made extant through its impact – through billowing fabric or waves that skirt the surface of the sea. But the wind as it appears in these photographs is more than a physical 
presence. On the islands off the southern coast of Iran,  in the Strait of Hormuz, where Afshar produced this body of work, the wind – known as the Zār – is thought to be a malevolent force capable of inducing illness or disease. Those possessed by the Zār are exorcised through rituals involving incense, music and dance. Like the wind itself, these customs are only alluded to obliquely in this series.


Over time, the landscape of these islands has been shaped by the Zār; the rocks have been eroded into bulbous, undulating forms. The black-and-white images from this series dramatise the surreal terrain, and the 
scenes of a body twisting beneath a white sheet turn the wind into a spectral presence. But this series also harbours other spectres. It is thought that the beliefs about the Zār were inherited from those brought to Iran from Africa as slaves. Here, as elsewhere, Afshar addresses violence and brutality not through blunt imagery but through subtle evocation and lyricism.


Audio text to come soon

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