Labkhand Olfatmanesh’s photography explores themes of feminism, racism, and isolation, and how these forces take shape in the United States and her birthplace of Iran.
Labkhand’s photography has exhibited in several countries, including most recently Japan and the U.K., and she has been awarded high honors from The Los Angeles Center of Photography (First Place, 2018) and LensCulture (Jurors’ Pick, 2018), among others. While earning a B.A. in graphic design, she became deeply passionate about photography, a medium that allowed her to tell intensely personal stories about her subjects, as well as herself and her ongoing feeling of alienation in Iran.
Through photography, installation, and sculpture, Labkhand created a solo show featured on Iranian national TV in 1996. Her practice has grown from these concerns and ideas of inclusion, identity, representation, role-playing, gender representation, and art-as-healing. She is most interested in her work relating and honoring uncanny reactions towards unexpected experiences, the places where the unreal becomes real for participants and viewers that were Another recurring theme in Labkhand’s work is borders and immigration, a theme shaped by her own uprooting. In 2003, she immigrated to Cyprus, an island nation whose citizens cannot move freely due to borders controlled by Greece and Turkey. Three years later during a short stay in the U.S., she won second place at the International Society of Photographers exhibit.