Cover Protect Decorate
I am interested how this particular material, with its multiple purposes of ‘covering’, can form a critical discourse of a wide array of issues ranging from the policing of women’s bodies to the social construction of one’s identity. My intention is for this piece is to draw out the tensions inherent between traditional and modern values, especially those of Islamic and Middle Eastern immigrant families living in the US. The living room acts as an external exploration of a struggle in the pluralities that my own Iranian-American identity presents.
I appropriated the semiotics of the vinyl packaging itself into a sculpture, which instructs its users how to protect their furniture and women. Cover, Protect, Decorate is a 38ft long scroll comprised of transparent vinyl over tissue paper printed with packaging instructions. It reflects the 38 years since the Iranian revolution which brought about the hijab law decreeing that women in Iran had to wear hijab or roosarie (headscarf) when in public spaces. The scroll includes the appropriated drawings of instructional symbols from the vinyl packaging juxtaposed to my own renderings of Iranian furniture and female figures that represent Iranian women from 1979 to present. This project forwards attitudes towards Iranian women as objects needing to be protected, covered and decorated in a post-Islamic Revolution era.