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Essay Topic: Write Down The Word Woman One Hundred Times

Works by Sanaz Haghani
On view in the McCormack Gallery
July 10, 2021
- December 23, 2021

Sanaz Haghani was born and raised in Iran. Her incisive, deeply engaging work examines women’s role in Iranian culture and how the hijab, social class and other forces keep women’s behavior and freedom in check. 

Haghani’s work expresses the power of visual language piercing borders and differences, and “the cultural darkness surrounding minorities’ lives in the world and the beauty of human desire to overcome limitations imposed by oppressive powers around the world.”

“My work examines how culture and its identity can be understood from the status and circumstances of its women, such as the roles they play in society, the rights they enjoy (or not), and, most pointedly, the dress codes to which they must adhere,” Haghani said.

In this exhibition, Essay Topic: Write Down the Word WOMAN One Hundred Times!, the viewer will face the poetry of cascading printed paper rich with dark, beautiful hues of ink and pigment, and with imagery considering the cultural history, the physical confinement and political challenge of prescribed cloth covering of the hijab.

“In this series of prints, I continue my investigation of the veiling of Iranian women,” Haghani said. “I question the doctrine of the hijab, and the ways in which this specific piece of clothing influenced and shaped my identity. Each of my works is constructed to magnify the roots and effects of the hijab. Different shapes of the hijab have transformed into a symbol of chastity and piety, into a cultural icon, a political manifesto, and finally related to the mental and emotional states of identity for women. A woman’s body has always been a type of battleground for various kinds of rhetoric and political ideologies.”

Haghani received her MFA from the University of Georgia and her BFA in Graphic Design from Sooreh University in Shiraz, Iran. She is adjunct professor at the Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Previously, Haghani worked as a graphic designer for eight years in Iran, where she taught graphic design and drawing courses. She has presented her work in solo and group exhibitions across the United States. Recently, she was recognized in Women to Watch 2020 by the Georgia Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and included in Paper Routes at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Ga.

Photo of artist Sanaz Haghani
Sanaz Haghani

Current Exhibitions

Shared Ideologies

May 9, 2024 -

August 3, 2024

Mixed Metals

May 9, 2024 -

August 3, 2024

"Mixed Metals" is a selection of jewelry pieces from the AMA African Art Collection.

Tradition & Legacy

May 9, 2024 -

August 3, 2024

These works, mostly portraits, are depictions of people immersed in tradition and legacy.