Women in black chadors, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, anti-American propaganda, the Supreme Leader, ballistic missiles, carpets, ruins in the desert – this is a list of basic visual images associated with Iran. This is due to a large extent to the media, which for years has been limited to certain themes in the context of this country, presenting it in a certain way, and portraying it through specific images. Replicated motifs become a canon of visual representation over time, and their successive new incarnations further perpetuate this canon.
‘In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate’ plays with visual clichés, sometimes deconstructing them, sometimes replacing them with those associated with American iconography. It is also an attempt to present Iran itself as it appeared to the author. The title is basmala, the opening phrase for all chapters of the Qur’an, which Muslims say before beginning any important activity. It is a phrase that blends into everyday life and gives a certain ritual rhythm to all actions.