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Photographs by Barsin Aghajan
On display until Friday 26 July / Reception Saturday 19 July 7pm

In an interest to link human expression with nostalgia I’ve asked six participants to subject themselves to this art project. Over several years, I’ve noticed a similarity between all of my subjects who stood in front of the lens, and that is ‘story’. Each documented frame of human emotion tells an incredible deep-rooted story without the need of any other form of body language. While research has faired on the side of six basic facial expressions in the past, it is becoming more accepted that subtle nuances identify over 20 distinct human facial expressions. So how does nostalgia tie into this?

Ironically, in early years nostalgia had been deemed a cerebral disease but has since then transformed in context. It is commonly viewed by many as a romanticized feeling of longing for personal and meaningful life events or sentimental objects that were once prominent in one’s life. Is it possible to see nostalgia unfold in present day without archival photographs or treasures of the past?

In my project Stories I have attempted to document the juxtaposition between nostalgia and the present. Using digital photography as a medium, I’ve asked each of the six subjects to tell me a distinct childhood memory. Each story was recorded using still photographs to capture their facial expressions during which they were reliving a particular moment in their life. While photographing each subject, I digitally recorded the audio of his or her voice to transcribe for the gallery viewer to try and make a connection between text and expression. These images are a way of documenting human expression in a moment of nostalgia and to find the one photo that can epitomize the mood and feeling of each individual storyteller.

– Barsin Aghajan


Barsin Aghajan is a portrait photographer and filmmaker who is far too fascinated with people to document anything else. Born in Hamilton, raised in Innisfil Beach, it goes without saying that he has developed into a man in his current location, St. Catharines Ontario, where most of the time he feels comfortable calling home. Camera operator for the local film The Hotel Dieu produced by Fourgrounds Media, Barsin has been working with the digital image since studying Film Theory at Brock University. Inspired by French, queer, and avant-garde art-house cinema, telling stories is and has always been a passion of this young artist.