Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


School of Art

First Advisor

Andreas Fischer


At the door of the house who will come knocking? / An open door, we enter / A closed door, a den / The world pulse beats beyond my door (Bachelard, 25).Border is a dichotomous concept. Within a border exists both the potential for protection and alienation. By exploring the closure in borders around people in both a family and a country setting I am exploring communication on both an interpersonal and intrapersonal level; how our understanding of ourselves and others can affect us; how we can be close to each other and help each other. I suggest that our bodies, domestic spaces, and home countries function as three parallel homes on different levels. Seeing the parallels between the issues in these three levels makes the suffering of displacement tangible. I started this chain of thought by thinking about doors, what they are, and what they do. The surfaces of doors, like many other borders and boundaries, can affect our definitions of outside versus inside, intimate versus public, us versus others, and displayed versus hidden. I got interested in the imagery of a type of large metal door, which was common in Iran when I was a child. I used them as a means of exploring family issues. I believe focusing on the house, its structure, and its elements allows us to think and talk about the residents, the family. Our identities and characters intertwine with our home. According to the spatial theorist Gaston Bachelard, there is a lot that one can show about the other. He writes “our home is our corner of the world that we take root, day after day. As has often been said, it is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word” (25). The concept of home is intimately related to the feeling of safety. I am questioning what doors, borders, and boundaries are and what they can do. I am thinking of people’s safety and its relation to the border. Are people safer inside their home-country or outside of it? The purpose of calling attention to the surfaces of the metal doors and borders and boundaries is threefold. I am trying through comparison and pointing to some similarities between three different levels of issues, First, to explore what is going on behind the “closed doors” of domestic spaces. Second, to evoke the severe and ongoing brutality towards women within the borders of my country. Finally, to depict the traumas that a single body is going to suffer and its internal mental landscape. I am proposing that better processing, understanding, or challenging of issues in any of these levels, inside a human body, inside a domestic space, and inside a country reveal that they can be about relationships and processes that exist in other levels as well.


Imported from Hamzeh_ilstu_0092N_11909.pdf


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