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In 'Kill Me Softly', Iranian-Australian artist Ali Tahayori explores themes of desire, intimacy and violence through a queer lens.

Same-sex relationships are prohibited in Iran and carry a maximum penalty of death. Many members of the Iranian queer community are forced to flee their home country. However, in many places where LGBTQIA+ rights are recognised, homophobia and transphobia remain.

Highlighting recent reports of homophobia and transphobia in sports, 'Kill Me Softly' aims to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights in many parts of the world where homosexuality is still prohibited and penalised.

'Kill Me Softly' combines the traditional Iranian craft of Āine-Kāri (mirror-works) with video installation. Tahayori’s practice encompasses a discourse about diaspora and displacement with an exploration of queerness – in both cases, poignantly testifying to his experience of being othered.

Accessibility information

This exhibition includes low-level lighting. Please take care as you navigate the space.

This exhibition features video and sound content. Due to the varied sensory experience on display, this exhibition may be a difficult environment for visitors with sensory sensitivities.

This exhibition features content that may be difficult for some audiences, such as references to homophobia, transphobia and the destruction of cultural sites.

For more information about the accessibility of the Counihan Gallery venue, visit our Access and Inclusion page.

Image credit: Ali Tahayori. Kill Me Softly, 2023. Video still. Courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY


Counihan Gallery
Phone: 03 9389 8622

Further information

For exhibition updates you can follow the Counihan Gallery Instagram page. You can also go to the Counihan Gallery Facebook page.

This exhibition is in the Rear Gallery.