In most of her works, Nastaran Safaei is in a quest to use new mediums. She uses everyday objects and picks up industrialized mediums, as well as manufactured goods and plays with them as her tools and a means of expressing her ideas. Her technique simply relies on assembling handy manufactured things, for example trays, cups, pocket knives and napkins. She turns objects into socio-political samples that creates a conversation that results into a reality of their own.
This paradoxical order gives some kind of irony to Safaei's works that resembles recalling the memory of an anxiety ended in a safe way.
This present lot is about the practice of the marriage proposal's first visit, a ritual still practiced in most of the countries of the Middle East.
The visit is all about judgment and acceptance - from the side of the groom and his entourage, they will be judging the looks, manners, and sometimes the food prepared by the bride to be. He is usually surrounded with his female clan, who come with him to assist with the final verdict. Hence he is depicted here at the center of the tray since he is at the center of attention in that visit.
Meanwhile from the bride and her parents's perspective, it is about how many 'cups' the groom can fill - education, work, support and love for their daughter. Hence the use of the many cups on the head of the groom in the present lot.
It is a very challenging visit and there are many anecdotal stories about how stressful it can be since it is effectively this visit versus the rest of your life. Safaei is portraying how these materialistic mediums create feelings that often lead us to a stressful world.