Iranian funerals are elaborate affairs, often lasting several days and incorporating a multitude of ceremonies which extend from the highly staged to the deeply private. Haerizadeh’s Typical Iranian Funeral illustrates the contrast in these varied approaches to bereavement. In the canvas on the left, a meal is shared between the deceased close family and friends, a gathering of the nearest and dearest tellingly structured around divisive table arrangements. The civility of this custom is juxtaposed to an image of public ritual, with bodies on full display, grieved over by mourners-for-hire and strangers, as rites are proclaimed over graveside loudspeakers. In
observing the paradoxes of everyday life, Haerizadeh creates a provocative and sympathetic portrayal of a society that’s fundamentally flawed, and infinitely endearing and relatable.