Sara Abbaspour

Sara Abbaspour (born in Mashhad, Iran) is an Iranian artist who lives and works between the U.S. and Iran. She holds an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art, an MA in Photography from the University of Tehran, and a B.Sc. in Urban Planning and Design from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Abbaspour is interested in studying the poetics of spaces in transitional states and making visual poetry using portraiture and landscape. Her works have been exhibited in the United States and internationally in solo and group exhibitions at galleries such as Aperture Foundation (New York), Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York), Green Gallery (New Haven), IEEE GEM Conference (Galway, Ireland), Tehran Gallery (Tehran, Iran), and Radin Gallery (Mashhad, Iran). Her photographs have also been published and reviewed in Aperture Blog, MATTE Magazine, and Lumpen Magazine.


My work as an artist originates in my interest in studying the poetics of spaces in transitional states. While I see space and its inhabitants not as separated entities, in these limbo states I have focused on vulnerability, intimacy, visibility, and history, with conscious regard for people’s highly politicized identities through the frame of everyday life. I use photography as an extension for a contemplative eye to explore the magic of the quotidian, in personal and collective lived experience, unfolding before me. To me, Photography offers an opportunity for reflection on what is assumed to be immutable and encourages a new understanding of historical layers and surfaces.
Coming from a background in Urban Studies, I combine a dual interest in the historical and the mundane to ask what history surfaces can hold. The process of photography for me comes with a realization that so much is lost in translation to a two-dimensional surface: the context, the heightened wave of emotions at the moment of making a photograph, and everything that is outside of the frame. I appreciate this loss and thus, tend to ask many questions from the photographic form and how it can activate senses. Can a photograph invite to be listened to? Can a still image carry an ever-evolving thought?
In II, an ongoing body of work, I have made black and white photographs in Iran of friends, cities, landscapes, and still lives. Alternating between the figurative, the environmental and the quotidian allows for a kind of rhythm to be built within the work that is quiet, specific, unassuming, and familiar, and at the same time opens a magic portal to desire, imagination, and human connection in the context of deeply rooted histories. I am quite interested in how individual images can offer a flow of imaginative continuity when they are revealed in sequences, though they can be entered into in their own specific ways as well. In photo-sequences, I aim to construct a fluid current of imagination moving through spaces.

To view more of Sara Abbaspour’s work please visit her website.