As a multidisciplinary artist, I aim to articulate my observations of the existing social binaries that divide how we consider ourselves societally. 22-year old Mahsa Amini was arrested by the religious morality police of Iran’s government for allegedly not dressing in accordance to government standards, resulting in her brutal death. This treatment of Iranian woman contrasts deeply against the social luxuries Iranian men are granted historically. Having grown up in the rural south and experiencing my own subjugations, I feel an obligation of consciousness to stand against the war that has been waged against the Iranian women and their human rights.
In this work, I investigate the separation of human dignity between male and female and explore the question Susan Sontag asked in her book Regarding the Pain of Others: “What does it mean to care about the sufferings of people in faraway zones of conflict?” Here I explore the question of human dignity by comparing the conflicting stories told by those who observed Mahsa Amini’s treatment to the denial of responsibility for her death by the Iranian authorities. These photographs express a longing to embrace the truth and to reach a deeper understanding of the problems that require change so that a woman’s life will be viewed as equally important.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My name is Sadie Bridger – artist, mother, daughter, wife, MFA graduate, Southerner, and resident of New York City. The moment we name objects and individuals, perceptions arise. And boundaries follow, divisions that are entirely dependent upon the mind that creates them. Over time, these self-made gulfs enlarge and deepen, and the designations we use become increasingly rigid. Coming of age in the rural South in the 1950s and 1960s, I observed vast gulfs between females and males, blacks and whites, between the environment and humans, all existing side-by-side, together yet apart, lockstep in silence. These separations made me uncomfortable, and I never understood why we could not go inside each other’s world – go beyond the trivial, the mundane and the self. Visual art became the medium through which I began to explore these themes and to question the dichotomies I perceived. Gulfs not only between the genders, races and the outside world, but within the genders, too, and between citizens of the world, between the educated and uneducated, the privileged and the poor, among the various classes and religions. Divisions between young and old, artist and viewer, separations society seemed to accept without question. In my art, I explore both the gaps that separate one from another and how we might bridge those gaps and come to a deeper, more intimate understanding of one another. My common theme has been the superficial appearance of difference and the profound existence of common ground, connection and unity.
© Sadie Bridger