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This work presents a new means of visual story telling, that lies somewhere between a photographic novel, a movie and a storybook. It is a flowing composition that layers together aspects of art, history, sociology, travel and photography. This collection of photos documents a journey to Iran, and seeks to probe beneath and beyond the visual and audio static, that surrounds so much of what is reported regarding the Iranian political situation.
Frames of Reference presents a point of view which is more poetic and less didactic; a position removed from the jingoism of both West and East, which allows the reader/viewer to experience an unclouded vision of a country where tradition and modernity dance together in a fragile pas de deux.
This book is unique not only because of the visual perspective it presents, but also because of the way that the photographs are composed to tell their story. Unlike traditional photo essays, this work is filmic in flavor and approach. Each photo merges and blends with the next creating a river of images that seamlessly carries the viewer/reader along with it on its journey.
“Frames of Reference” is not simply a book of pretty pictures that one looks at once and then sets aside. Instead it is a work with several compositional and conceptual layers, laid out like geologic strata. As a result, the reader becomes like an archeologist slowly excavating and discovering new hidden treasures with each and every viewing.
Seyed Alavi is an interdisciplinary artist living in Oakland, California. Seyed was born in Iran and moved to the States at the age of seventeen. Some of his recent public art projects include; Tale of Time in Kochi, Japan; Seed of Knowledge in Saint Paul, MN; Signs of the Times in Emeryville, CA; Patterns Without Borders in Sonoma, CA; Flying Carpet in Sacramento, CA and Golden Gateway in San Francisco, CA. He has also created site-specific installations for The New Museum of Contemporary Art and Franklin Furnace in New York City; The University Art Museum- Cal State Long Beach; The Museum of Santa Cruz County; The de Saisset Museum; The University Art Museum, Sonoma State; The Exploratorium and the Capp Street Project in San Francisco.