© 2015-19 by Ala TJ. 

corporeal elisions

The starting point of this ongoing series of paintings comes from my thinking about how men and women relate to their corporeal embodiment in different cultural and social contexts. During the process of conceiving this series, a particularly pertinent theme was the notion of the estrangement and elusiveness of one’s body and the tensions which arise between norms, values, and cultural consciousness and affective awareness of one’s own body. Born and raised in Iran, the concept of haya - often translated as shame/modesty - has been decisive for how many Iranians have been taught and habituated to their own bodily presence and pleasures. The virtuous are said to adhere to haya’s demands. By going beyond the polarising figure of the veil, my work attempts to convey how the process of negotiating an intimate familiarity with one’s body is both open-ended and incomplete.