Image of artwork titled "Proof" by Sheida Soleimani

Sheida Soleimani, Proof, 2021
Archival pigment print, mounted and framed
40 × 30 inches
Edition of 3 + 1 AP

Levers of Power catches politicians in the very act of their notoriety. Her newest series examines a fundamental, if overlooked, element of the political gesture. Her photographs reveal how politicians have trained their bodies to set media machines into spin cycles as endless means of distraction. The source imagery used as backdrops tell a radically different story, commanding us to link the crisis and devastation to the microlevel of the political gesture.
Qassem Soleimani was assassinated on 1/3/20 - many were looking for the ‘proof of his death’ and
a widely circulated image of his hand (after being blown off by the missile) was distributed in many
tabloids. He was identified by the ring on his finger, a ‘holy symbol’ that has a large carnelian stone set in silver. Carnelian is a stone that is believed by some Middle East Muslims to be able to bestow “blessings.” His hand in life holds a mirror that reflects his ‘blessed’ hand in death. The backdrop images are of the missile strike that killed him, and the rocks are raw carnelian/agate stone.



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