The Unforgottens
30 December -20 January, 2017

Assar Art Gallery is pleased to present The Un-forgottens, the latest collection of Samira Alikhanzdaeh’s works.

Always finding inspiration in old found photographs and laying emphasis on their eternalizing role, as well as her perpetual interest in the magic of image has led Alikhanzadeh to creating another collection of mesmerizing art-pieces.

In her latest body of work, the artist examines the fading quality of memory and visualizes her theme metaphorically by creating fading imagery. Her use of metal mesh as the base of her entire series – a material she started to observe in 2014 – gives her the opportunity to imply the transitory state she wants to portray as the figures on the mesh, like ghosts or memories, imply a vague state of being visible and nonvisible.

Alikhazadeh’s work took a twist three years ago when she started to re-interpret the relationship between existence and non-existence. She who was always fascinated with the issues of identity and reality in relation to past and present took on a new tone through her use of new material. This is when the opportunities metal mesh could provide inspired her. By cutting out her portraits from their background in the old photos and placing them on a mesh, she started guiding the viewers to seek a visual narrative instead of looking at a frozen moment. By surrounding the portraits with her signature mirror fragments, Samira Alikhanzadeh once again mixes past and present and leave the viewers to experience their alienating emotion. In fact, she combines the nostalgic feel with an observant approach, giving her audience the chance to project back the abstracted image into present space and time.

In her third solo show with the gallery, Samira Alikhanzadeh uses 19 different artworks to portray her idea of fading memory. In a dress made out of metal mesh, an installation of a standing woman, a pile of suitcases including image of a woman and her other works, she defocuses the portraits and highlights the objects as tools to remind us of the fading figures. She turns the physical act of seeing to a dialogue and a mutual relationship between those who do not exist (or exist through their images) and the viewers who presently exist but will pass away eventually. The combination of printed images and mirror, different layers of image and images with varied degree of clarity are all different means to achieve this objective.

Alikhanzadeh lives and works in Tehran where she regularly exhibits. She has taken part in many exhibitions and art fairs in North America, Europe and the Middle East since 1995. In addition to her works being part of important private collections worldwide, two works from her Carpet series were acquired by LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) in 2010.