From Aaron Schuman’s interview with Amy Stein & Stacy Arezou Mehrfar for

Schuman: What was the genesis of the concept behind Tall Poppy Syndrome? Stacy, I understand that you moved to Australia in 2008, so I’m assuming that you discovered this particular social phenomenon there upon arrival. (I was quite struck with something similar, when I moved from New York to the United Kingdom in the early 2000s, and discovered what seems to be a national obsession: knocking people off their pedestals.) Was it your idea initially to pursue this photographically, and if so, why did you decide to get Amy involved?

Mehrfar: Aaron, its interesting to hear that you’ve experienced it too. Like you, I was taken aback when I first came across instances of “tall poppy syndrome.” I had just moved to Sydney, and I was so excited to explore life in my new home. I was looking forward to meeting new people — both in the arts, and in life in general. But during my first year of living there, a few different situations occurred where I felt totally stranded. I couldn’t get my head around how people connected and communicated in Oz; it was noticeably different to life in New York. I knew that I wanted to make new work about Australia, and perhaps something about the social structure there, but at that time I felt stunted by the move, and was finding it hard to start making images that felt close to me.

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