Recently, I interviewed Firooz Zahedi about his photographs of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran. He traveled there with her in 1976, as a recent art school graduate, and made the photographs that are part of the exhibition Elizabeth Taylor in Iran. They are like vacation snapshots from a very exotic trip–very personal images.
Firooz started out as a diplomat before going to art school. We talked about the fact that it was somewhat unusual for someone from a traditional family such as his to pursue an art career–and how Elizabeth Taylor encouraged him to do so.
I like the part of the video (around 2:52, below) when he recalls the sense memories of an afternoon visit to an old teahouse– the sounds on the street, the feeling of being indoors protected from the outdoor heat. He describes these memories as part of the essential feeling of Iran, in the way that we all have some nostalgia for a place and time that defined our childhoods.
The photographs–and his personal recollections–struck me as a beautiful commemoration of a bygone world.
Alexa Oona Schulz