Behind the Mirrors

Bahar Behbahani, 2013


Single-channel, HD Video

Time: 18:00

"What I would like to stress in conclusion is this: there is no establishment of the truth without an essential position of otherness; the truth is never the same; there can be truth only in the form of the other world and the other life (l’autre monde et de la vie autre)."
— Michel Foucault (The Courage of Truth (manuscript), June 1984)

My recent painting series is a frank confession of the contradictions inherent in my origins and the rituals that were engaged in inverting values to construct a ‘reality.’ Fighting, hiding, bravery, timidness and obscuring my femininity were the contradicting and confusing values that I learned in school.

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/20th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm
"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession."
— Albert Camus  (via mahdiskeshavarz)

Today in my studio:

working on a new painting on canvas. I’m preparing myself for my solo painting show “Hidden Camera” on Feb 7th!

I’m getting fussy now…can’t finish the piece…

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/15th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm

Winter time in a village in Azerbaijan, with my sound designer/sister Negar Behbahani during filming “Ride the Caspian,” 2011

JOIN ME FOR GO To hear about the challenges and rewards of filming in Baku, Azerbaijan + Cappadocia, Turkey + Tehran, Iran

a Brooklyn Museum community-curated
open studio project

SEPTEMBER 08 + 09, 2012


I would be delighted to welcome you into my studio along with sound designer + sister, NEGAR BAHBAHANI—direct from Iran—for casual conversation, and of course, tea, throughout the afternoon.

  • Catch a sneak preview + behind-the-scenes footage of my most recent film Mirror for Princess
  • Experience my three-dimensional silkscreens + recent paintings
  • View the films Suspended + Saffron Tea + Ride the Caspian and explore the veils of the worlds of oil + power
@griffineditions, printing one of my latest works, Through a Wave, Darkly! @griffineditions, printing one of my latest works, Through a Wave, Darkly!

@griffineditions, printing one of my latest works, Through a Wave, Darkly!

Ride the Caspian enjoys accolades from the Berkshire Review!

'With its deadpan humor and feeling of new forms of decadence being born it is this biennale’s equivalent of 2010’s The Feast of Trimalchio by the Russian collective AES+F.”

A chance to peak inside the enigmatic studio of Bahar Behbahani! Come see where I paint, edit, and share some Saffron Tea with me….

Ride the Caspian received a beautiful writeup on the Queensland GOMA Museum blog by Reuben Keehan! Catch the whole thing here.

"For the last couple of years I’ve been quite interested in the “landscape theory” that informed the work of radical Japanese filmmakers like Nagisa Oshima, Koji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi and the photographer Takuma Nakahira in the 1960s and 70s (see this fascinating interview with Adachi — himself a fascinating guy — at Midnight Eye). The idea was essentially that landscape, even picturesque landscape, is shaped by ruling powers, and that it, in turn, has a role in shaping the lives and sensibilities of those who live within it.

With Ride the Caspian, Menlibayeva and Behbahani complicate this account in interesting ways, lending it some contemporary nuance. They seem to suggest a non–linear version of cultural inheritance that overlaps in time and space, and also the role of certain libidinal forces in mediating the relationships that take place there. Which begs the question: does desire liberate us from the power of landscape, or is it part of the landscape of power?”