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Pathétique: Affection the emotions of pity, grief or sorrow; touching.

The show introduces three parts: Drawings, sculptures, and installation. Each drawing will be accompanied with one broken sculpture below, and in the center of the project room 12 sculptures will be arranged in a row on a pedestal.

I was first introduced to the French title Pathétique by listening and playing Beethoven piano sonata in C minor. The melody struck me with two opposing male and female voices struggling and arguing. I’m introducing a new direction in these drawings by focusing on the interaction between the protagonist and antagonist. The male and female roles are established by animate and inanimate imagery of Eastern and Western traditions. I decided to reinterpret Persian miniatures of male mullahs, clerics, poets that have also been visually described as sorrowful, bearded men, a signature style of great sophistication based on
familiarity with classical antiquity. The limited colors of black, white, and gold are to heighten the difference between the male and female roles in the exhibition.

The new work has been inspired by Iranian clerics suggesting a “cultural campaign” against Iranian women and their Westoxication. My new interest in sculpture and the piece “Mullahs Ghost” follows the words of Lynda Benglis, “What if I was my own subject and my own object, looking back at the men and the viewer in general?” A burka is intended to veil the female body from the male gaze. The market for body modification in Iran and the Middle East is rapidly increasing, thus the collaboration between the female sculptures and the male drawings collide, representing subversive tension between resistance and control, devotion and submission. Both clerics and sculptures are “Pathétique” by being vulnerable with the other, thus presenting the effect that desire can have on an object.

Earlier Event: April 28
Later Event: May 14