You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul’, wrote George Bernard Shaw in his set of plays Back to Methuselah in 1918. Created one hundred years after, Shirin Abedinirad’s monumental assemblage of mirrored retro television sets in the shape of a Ziggurat interrogates similar themes of reflection, revelation, illusion and truth. Situated on the grassy isthmus at the mouth of the Erskine River, Revisionis a site-speciﬁc land art project that mirrors all that is around it. When the space is empty, the mirrored TV screens reflect nature as it transforms itself from night to day. The ocean, sky and birdlife of the area become the only subject on the screens. When the isthmus is populated, it reflects the movements of people – joggers, walkers, children, dogs, lovers and loners who visit the site each day. Writing from her home in Tehran, Shirin comments, ‘this project invites audiences to watch a nature in a new frame. Instead of watching TV news, which we do not know if it is true or not, we could break the waves that televisions create and watch reality and nature instead. This installation creates a live movie through the simple reﬂection of everyone and everything around it. When there is no one in the beach the ocean itself plays a major role and it is watching its’s beauty’. Born in Tabriz, Iran in 1986, Abedinirad is a conceptual performance artist. Revision is an example of her recent practice working with mirrors and the psychological power of their reflective properties. She writes, ‘In my recent projects I am trying to change the face of the nature. Mirror, water, metal, stone or any kind of element that has reflective capability is interesting for me. But mirror, with increasing the light gives much more clear reflection. It seems like it is a combination of two vital elements: Light and water, sometimes beside each other and sometimes in conflict with each other’. In 2015 she exhibited Mirrored Ziggurat on Cockatoo Island, Sydney for the Underbelly Arts Festival.
Abedinirad commenced as a painter, studying graphic design and later fashion design at the Dr. Shariaty University in Tehran. Here she began to examine conceptual art and the way in which it overlaps with fashion design. In 2010, she was invited to work at Benetton’s research centre, Fabrica, in Treviso, Italy and in 2014 she returned there to undertake a one-year scholarship. Her performance practice in Iran confronts issues of identity, gender, sexuality, and human compassion. Studying under the critically acclaimed Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami, she makes video art, exploring the notion of self and identity, repetition and reflection with moving images. Kiarostami influenced her to engage with nature in this dialogue.