Appreciations 001: 16.01.2011

I was just thinking about you as Saturday, together with a friend from The Hague who works for a Dutch group of contemporary Art galleries and is spending a long weekend with me, we went to the BAC to see the exhibition of the 3 Iranian women artists you had written us about : Mondes en Expansion. We were thrilled by what we saw, all the more so as we had the luck of meeting the three young artists, just back from an outing to the Plainpalais Puces, and as we were given a very good introduction to their work by the person who set up the Exhibition, Mojgan Endjavi.

I particularly loved the big textile canvasses stitched by Maryam Ashkanian- those dozens of improvised faces machine-stitched with a single black thread across the entire canvas are amazing, the effect stunning. I was also moved "jusqu'aux tripes" by the carton works of Zahra Hosseini: those detailed dissections of her thalidomide-victim's body in a small carton box are so powerful and suggestive ! Of course one thinks of Frida Kahlo and the suffering of a handicapped body... but Zahra, through her art, seems serene and in perfect control of her body; what precision and detail and subtle story-telling is contained in each box! The stitching, the textiles and the expressive, feminine use of thread and needle extensively used - used even exclusively in Elnaz Javani's effectively transformed men's jackets - by all three artists definitely give a certain unity to the Exhibition.