Injecting barren landscapes with gargantuan, digitally manipulated structures, Pouria Khojastehpay (b. 1993) invites the viewer to “immerse themselves in the future failed landscapes of ruin” in his cinematic photomontages. A collection of brutalist, dystopian and generally enigmatic images, DUSTWOUND is a fascinatingly puzzling photographic series. Inspired by Katsuhiro Otomo’s cyberpunk anime, brutalist architecture and a collection of sci-fi novelists, the series depicts post-apocalyptic scenes underpinned by a constant sense of war. However, purposefully provocative, we are given very little clue as to its exact meaning.
A product of his environment, Khojastehpay spent much of his youth bound by concrete, growing up in a Dutch refugee camp whilst his homeland of Iran was undergoing the Islamic Revolution. Khojastehpay holds this accountable for the bleak and cold atmosphere of his constructions. However, as Khojastehpay explains, he is not interested in creating a dark fantasy world, but is instead suggesting human ambition can be expressed in concrete and is interested in the concept that, in an apocalypse, architecture would play a major role in reforming the earth’s surface. Despite the cold aesthetic, Khojastehpay makes an intriguing point and the resulting images are inimitably striking.