I WILL SEE IT, WHEN I BELIEVE IT
The Third Line is pleased to present its summer exhibition I Will See It, When I Believe It, with works by Abbas Akhavan, Farhad Moshiri, Hayv Kahraman, Laleh Khorramian, Rana Begum, Slavs and Tatars, and Sophia Al Maria.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Or is it? Gestalt psychology suggests that in a split second our brain amalgamates the parts of an object or form and sees a whole. In other words, it turns perception into knowledge. But what happens when the artist disrupts that split second and the transition from perceiving to knowing is stalled? The artists presented have all used the liminal state of perception as a means of questioning what is in fact, known. Each work selected possesses a form of dissonance between the expected and the real, enabling a dialogue between artwork and viewer born out of confusion and failure to see a whole at once.
Abbas Akhavan's seemingly straightforward Untitled concrete blocks dissimulate elements of the artist's long-time preoccupation with the environment, animals, saints, weapons, and property.
In his monochromatic First Snow series, Farhad Moshiri uses his signature technique of hand-embroidering beads to illustrate photos he's taken of a heavily snowed-in landscape outside of his studio. While the work appears as abstract and heavily pixilated when taken in from close up, the pixels come together to form an obvious scene as one takes a step back.
The apparent lightness and grace of the female figures depicted in Hayv Kahraman's Search: Ask One Prisoner to Come Close to Translate for Others stands in stark contrast with the work's subject matter- the sonic violence connected to Hayv's past as an Iraqi immigrant. The deliberately punctured canvas enacts mind and body scarifications resulting from such trauma.
Using her signature mono-typing technique, Laleh Khorramian's Landscape Scroll unveils microbial lands through which she explores the human condition, transformation and a sense of unknown mysticism. Laleh harnesses the possibilities of chance, accidents and manipulation in her art making, lending the work's abstract nature to endless interpretations.
Rana Begum's steel Fold works are developed out of previous studies in paper and delicately emulate the weightlessness of the original material. Careful consideration is given to the folds and angles while colors are scrupulously applied to various facets to create crystalline compositions. "What I hope to create with my work is movement, an experience of walking through the city, of seeing the random. The initial illusion you see in the work then becomes a reality as you move around the space and experience the work as a whole," said Rana of her works.
Part of Slavs and Tatars' cycle Friendship of Nations, the banner Long Live Long Live focuses on the unlikely shared heritage between Poland and Iran. Creolizing best practices from the Solidarność movement and the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the work also speaks to the unlikely points of resonance between craft traditions of the Catholic faith and Shi'a Islam. Transliterated in Farsi script, Long Live Long Live attests to the collective's research on language as a socio-political tool for disruption, humor, and unexpected meaning.
Sophia Al Maria's EVERYTHING MUST GO digital collages create hybrid phrases lifted from political playbooks and cosmetic adjectives. A critical parody of consumerist culture, the seemingly disconnected military and cosmetic worlds make for disturbing yet eloquent slogans.