To Those in Pain
“ilāj ” exhibition is part of a wider idea focusing on eastern myths, rituals, theology, and literature and how they can influence our way of thinking about life and our experiences in this region throughout history.
The title of the project is a word common in Farsi, Arabic, Urdu, and Hindi, meaning “cure” and “treatment.” Three artists are engaging with either local or international issues like consumerism, petrification, and violence, influenced by being first, the citizen of the Middle East and then the citizen of the planet earth, trying to reflect those experiences through their art. The culmination of an observation through eastern myths and rituals of my homeland and the region, resulted in the idea that art can be a metaphor to those medical/holistic rituals that leads to a physical and mental redemption.
The East has been struggling with lots of issues for a long time; yet, it is a great muse of any remedy resulting in serenity. Iran, as one of the oldest and most fruitful parts of this region and culture, serves truth-seekers with an array of stories where they can dig for more knowledge: the cure. Reading myths and knowing more about ancient scripts and practicing rituals is a form of returning to roots as a form of knowing oneself.
The “ilāj” project shows how different approaches of respond, awareness, observation, and reflection will act as a diagnosis that can lead to serenity. What “ilāj” claims is that the artist, whether as a scholar or as a person in pain, is capable of starting such a journey through well-being and placidity, both for themselves and the audience. Sadra Wejdani is a multi-output artist who is responding to his surroundings through different actions; whether as a form of art or social/environmental activities. Sara Ghods is a multi-disciplinary artist who is fascinated by mythology, semiotics, human behavior, and nature. She astonishes her audience by representing a process towards awareness. With a critical viewpoint of his surroundings, Hamed Jaberha observes and captures history, politics, and philosophy. He addresses these issues through his art with expressiveness. ilāj is a process. Serenity is a process. Every person/society in pain will realize at some point that “something is wrong.” It starts with an alarm: an alarm for survival. This is the beginning of a struggle to find the cure: redemption from pain and suffering. Awareness is the beginning of the “Ilaj” process. The question is what kind of a world does this open up to? a world where we suffer no more, or where we find the cure to all this pain?
Manual print on hand made paper
Although evil has been manifested in different ways throughout history and many human souls have been swallowed by it, morality have never ceased to ask the questions of how evil reveals itself by producing violence and by what means it is exploited. Many religions and cults have been trying to prevent evil by their commands, teachings, and rituals. But when we look back in history, we see the destructive effects of evil even in most ethical religions; thus, we have surely witnessed great evil, especially in the contemporary history and in the First and Second World War. Furthermore, we realize how these religious doctrines have been ineffective, as modern tools of torture and massacre are still being invented. Undoubtedly, the consent of the masses with more violence plays a major role in reproduction and spread of evil, because without the will of active majority of any society, violence cannot propagate. The book has been inspired by the history of Christian theology. It mentions the crucifixion of Jesus that implies atoning for human sins by giving his body as a sacrifice. The book will emphasize the wounds on the hands of Christ along with Latin verses from the Gospel of Matthew, while the commands bring more violence to the body of Christ. Also the three arias written by Arnulf of Leuven, a Belgian monk in the thirteenth century praises the wounds on the hands of Christ.
Agony means extreme pain and suffering, specifically when a living being is the final stages of a difficult or painful death.
Conceptual Product, Ceramic and
Plastic Bottles, 2018
“Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality.” —Erich Fromm This piece is part of a series called “Became Pottery”*, re-designed products/earthenware based on Omar Khayyam’s poetry, which is now presented in a water bottle pack.
*) What if, whatever buried in the earth, whatever we gave to the earth, whatever was in the earth but was invisible, would become pottery? As Omar Khayyam was seeing more than sand, gravel and clay in the soil: “Yesterday I watched a potter behind his wheel, molding the ears and curves of a vase with clay that contained the skull of a sultan and the hands of a beggar.
Installation, Thumb pins in apples,
dimensions variable, -2013 present