Amin Yousefi

What is the relationship between the photographer and the one that is photographed? In an attempt to answer this question, Amin Yousefi turned to photobooks, documenting the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979 in his home-country. Zooming in on archival images of large demonstrations, he looked for protestors who locked eyes with the camera. 

Anonymous faces stare into the photographer’s lens, clearly showing awareness of being captured, inviting the viewer to look. Interestingly, the photographer at the time was most likely not aware of the returning gazes—due to the size of the crowds and the limitations of a 35mm camera viewfinder. In this case, Yousefi argues, it seems that the photographed is in control of the image, rather than the photographer, as one might assume. 

With the help of a magnifying glass, he rephotographed each of them—connecting himself with these individuals across time and space and isolating them into a newly formed crowd. Consisting of fifty portraits, Eyes Dazzle as they Search for the Truth examines how our knowledge about the past is formed through archival images. By turning his camera to those who looked back, Yousefi tries to understand the impact of one of the most influential events in Iranian contemporary history.

Eyes Dazzle as they Search for the Truth

Amin Yousefi


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