The World of the Absent and the Non-Existent, Gelare Khoshgozaran
As a powerful means of oppression censorship can take various forms and be implemented in different ways. Whatever form it takes however, censorship always embodies a process of denial, removal or replacement. The ‘absence’ as the desired outcome of this removal or replacement, at the same time gives birth to a new form of existence. Death and (re)creation are inevitable and concurrent in this process. The thing removed, the absent or the replaced signifies that it does not exist or it cannot exist in a certain way; whereas the existent, the substitute or simply the emptiness suggests or dictates the way that it could or should exist. In a way censorship’s desperate attempt to constantly remove, erase, replace, modify and deny makes possible the reframing or recreation of an existence in a way that is compliant with the structure the oppressor dictates. Alienation is inevitably embedded in this process of recreation and modification; so is a gap in the space or a lag in the time reinvented. I am interested in this spatiotemporal distance between the ‘original’ and the ‘censored,’ the afterlife of the thing removed, the absent and the “non-existent,” as a sound replaced by silence is never silent.
Gelare Khoshgozaran is an artist, a translator and an independent scholar based in Los Angeles, CA. Born in 1986 in Tehran, Gelare received her undergraduate degree in Photography from the University of Arts, Tehran and her MFA from the University of Southern California. As a writer and translator she has contributed to multiple Persian and English magazines, journals and websites, including Parkett, Mardomak, WildGender and ZanNegaar Journal of Women Studies. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S., in Asia, Europe and Canada. She was the winner of the 2011 Neely Macomber Travel Award and ArtGenève’s Meta Young Art Critic Award 2012.