Maia Mahboub (former Mahshid Mahboubifar) was born in 1991 in Jahrom in the south of Iran. She graduated with her bachelor’s in Visual Communication from Alzahra University in Tehran and started her professional career as a photographer in 2013 by participating in the “Iranian Living Room” project which was published and exhibited by Fabrica institute in Italy. Afterward, her practice expanded to video art, installation and performance art. Her works have been exhibited in several exhibitions and festivals internationally. Since 2017, she is studying her master’s in Digital Media at the University of Arts Bremen.
The surrounding environment, the essence of the matters, random occurrences and improvisation initiate her works. Intention develops in interaction with the matters. Most of her works investigate the connection of identity – either as a subjective sense of self or as a collective identity – to suffering in the context of existence in time and space.
“ectomy” is a suffix used in surgical terminology. It is the act of cutting out, the surgical removal of something, usually a part of the body. This suffix is used for this project since the procedure of the project, is similar to a surgical act on the materials that are used, which are photographs.
Ectomy includes a series of installations investigating the concept of false autobiographical memory. The focus of this project lies on my own childhood photographs as a reliable material containing the past. It explores distinct approaches to reconstruct the autobiographical memories using the same material, in a different framework. The suffix -ectomy usually is used after the name of the removed part like Thyroidectomy. However, in a false memory, one cannot say which part is removed, or if they have a false memory at all.
A photo is printed, scanned, and printed again. This process has been repeated several times on a single image, up to the point that the Imperfect sensors, biased algorithms, and bleeding ink jets create a different representative of the source image.
In this installation, the source image – which the process started with – is attached to the wall and not easily accessible to see. However, the last produced image in this process is the outermost layer is clearly available.
The source image is a photo from a mural painting, taken in a historical house-Boroujerdiha- in Kashan, Iran. The details of the painting are already discarded by the forces of nature. In the center of the painting, there is a portrait of a woman with no face, with no reliable evidence if it was painted so, or if it was censored by the authorities.