Jacqueline Mirsadeghi, Photography – 14 novembre 2011 – 17 février 2012

14 novembre  2011 – 17 février 2012

 

Jacqueline Mirsadeghi, Photography

“Pomegranates, fruits from paradise”     

 

Pomegranates, the fruits of paradise in the life of photographer Jacqueline Mirsadeghi.

 

When we say that life is a journey, for some people those words have a spiritual meaning exclusively. For others it may be more literal. To Jacqueline Mirsadeghi they unquestionably represent both connotations.

Born in Izmir, Turkey, her French father and mother of German-Dutch descent took her to Switzerland when she was still little. Jacqueline spent part of her childhood in Switzerland, went to an English boarding school and studied documentary photography at the University of Iowa, USA.

She worked as a journalist for the Daily Iowan during her study to gain experience and finished the last part of her studies in Maryland.

In the spring of 1984 she returned to Switzerland accompanied by her Iranian husband. After eight years they went to Iran for a two year period, now with their 2-year old son and 3-year old daughter. They stayed until 2005, before coming back to Switzerland again. “I think people return to Switzerland because it offers them safety,” Jacqueline says, “and even though Switzerland has always been a country in development, changes came in a more peaceful manner then in other nations.” These days she mainly lives in Switzerland, but can be found in Iran twice a year.   

Saveh, south-west of Tehran is her second home. During the hot summer it goes without rain for six months; its winters are harsh. For survival and the cultivation of fruit and other crops the Iranians use “ganat,” ground water tapped into via a man-made underground canal system that has been around for centuries.

“I feel so deeply connected with this part of Iran because of the efforts of man to establish it long ago and to keep it intact. The cost of the water in this created oasis is amazing. People risk their lives to get to it and to keep it flowing,” she explains. “Water is allocated. If you possess a piece of land you are entitled to irrigate it. This is a ‘water right’ shared among the landowners. Living there one is constantly aware of the value and the necessity of protecting life.”

The people in Saveh grow pomegranates, originating from that part of the world. The Punica Granatum is very important to the entire region, even to the country. It can be stored for six months and taken on a caravan. The fruit contains hundreds of juicy seeds that liquefy when it is carefully squeezed. Then turning into a natural “juice box” a pomegranate can literally save lives. It does not only quench thirst, it is also rich in vitamin C and potassium while it gives “physical and mental energy, increases the body’s resistance against infections, enhances blood cells and improves blood circulation.” The pomegranate is growing in popularity outside Iran as well. It is used for skin beauty products, juice (“grenadine”), coloring, and medical application.

“The fruit became a normal part of our lives, but I realized that it should never be taken for granted,” Jacqueline muses. “That is why it became part of my artistic adventure as a photographer.” Jacqueline’s beautiful multilingual book “Pomegranate garden” shows her cherished, luscious paradise surrounded by unforgiving mountainous desert. Pomegranates can be found in most of her pictures, stocked away for the winter, basking in the sun on a branch, or just displayed in a piece of local pottery. She makes the local architecture stand out through its strong lines and simplicity.

Jacqueline is grateful to be able to spread the culture of her Iranian Eden. Her images, now being spread across the globe, capture its amazing nature. Through her work and heritage she has become a cultural nomad in her own right.

Enjoy the show!

 

Gusta van Dobbenburgh

Curator 

 

“Pomegranates, fruits from paradise”

Jacqueline Mirsadeghi, Photography

www.pomegranate-garden.com   

Dates: November 14 – December 23

Vernissage and Book signing: Thursday, November 17, 18h00 – 20h00

Location: ELA Gallery, room EL 010

More info: http://astie.epfl.ch or 021 691 1188