Kiarang Alaei | Even When We Do Not Know

PRIVATE-58 Kiarang Alaei, Even When We Do Not Know

Kiarang Alaei, Even When We Do Not Know. PRIVATE 58, p.32-33 (32-35)


This collection takes seventeen shots to deal with the presence of cameras around the everyday lives of the people. An absolute presence of which even the most virgin and unseen places did not escape. A presence that feels ultimately pointless and boring, as considered in this collection. Cameras insist on recording places while humans have abandoned the scenes, gone to an unknown place, leaving no more than mere decadence and destruction in the eye of the cameras; all the stuff are affected by time, having their originality and practicality changed though time. Even so, what lingers to play its role here is, “the cameras”. The photos in this collection are recorded in a six-month period in documentary layout and with no software retouch.

In this photo project I tried to fade all poetic contemplations and even the visually esthetic purposes: to let the “word” of these photos be spoken with an exact layout and precision, a substitute for all those inspiration-seeking wanderings and ambivalent or random depictions.

On the path of this type of photography, where the “artist’s purpose” is to have formed in my mind to the extent of perfection, I even hunt the proper locations in different cities of Iran, where would serve as my favorite sites, and in some cases, even which angle to set my photography camera, all through the internet: ruined locations, abandoned places, isolated atmospheres, or virgin natural views. These are the atmospheres that no longer function as a place to be used, but the surveillance cameras still -desperately- keep observing all the corners of them.

In this visual project and to look at the subject of “look”, I had to use two types of cameras: one as the continuation of the line on my eyes, an absent camera which is a curtain between the action of looking and the favorable feeling of being looked at, and another camera which I imposed on the scenes to be recorded. Such scenes do not necessitate such cameras as an observer’s eye in everyday life. Both these cameras are the product of technology, though CCTV is prevailed only later on. The photos in this Photo project are recorded by the photo camera; I have no idea if the CCTVs have recorded anything, or if they even function at all. But even if they are technically broken, or even if they are not wired in a way to look at anywhere or record anything, they still work: this characteristic of the CCTV provides it with a recognizing feature with a transcendental nature that brings the concept of a stare.

Q&A with Kiarang Alaei

Photography is…

It’s hard to say what photography is. However we know that this media incorporates to the human life. It’s now a big part of every body life. But for me the photography is a window: for revealing life: to understand the simplicity of life. To know that the day life events are highly purified. Photography is a piece of Moment/Space which can transfers the hidden feelings of the acts, events and every things flow in the life and in this transferring, photography is a media which can converts the simple ideas and feelings to a great abstract crop.
Accordingly a photograph is the result of photographer’s pause in this very precise moment: a moment that shines, becomes special and swiftly distances itself from the monotony of life.

Photography and writing…

A photograph faces a definite moment but literature has the power to continue it. It can ponder upon the things that are absent in the frame. It can take the frozen subject in the frame and give it an active and colorful density.
In the contemporary photography after 1970 we can see many different efforts which they are trying to combine the effects of writing and photography.

Who left the biggest impression on you?

There are many peoples how impress me in the different periods of life: many teachers, friends and writers who impress me with their friendships or their works. But clearly I can mention these ones:
Wim Wenders’s Films, Bijan Najdi’s stories, and some of my teachers like Mostafa Mastoor, Saed Nikzat, Akbar Alemi, Esmael Abbasi who they learn me many things.

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a simple teacher who love my students and my students are a big part of my life. We try to experience different forms of photography and apply it as our second language.

Kiarang-AlaeiKiarang Alaei (
Born in 1976, in Mashhad (Iran),
he is a self-educated photographer.

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