|SAMIRA HODAEI: The beloved in the water 150 x 100 cm, 2013|
mixed media on canvas
HAREM OF THE HEART
6th – 22nd September, 2013
The Exhibition takes place at Gallery Aquabit in Augustsraße 35, Berlin-Mitte
Venue: AQUABIT Gallery Auguststrasse 35, 10119 Berlin
AB GALLERY Luzern Arealstr. 6, CH-Luzern
|SAMIRA HODAEI: Dancing the sharp Edge, Incomplete courage! 2012|
mixed media on canvas, 150 x 100 cm
The works of the Iranian artist Samira Hodaei remind the viewer of writings of Persian poetry. Haunting, double-edged, rich in symbolism and complexity. But clearly the most distinctive feature of the artist’s oeuvre is to be found in her unusual technique. Samira Hodaei applies meticulously tiny dots of glass paint to the canvas millimeter for millimeter that are based on photographies. For her installation, which is on display at the Aquabit Gallery, she has translated this technique into a three-dimensional form of expression.
The subject of the installation, which she has created especially for the gallery, relates to both mystical and earthly love. In her view, these should not be seen as separate entities, but, instead, as parts linked a unison. In the middle of the first room of the installation we find a mosque made out of prayer beads. However, the focus of Samira Hodaei’s work is not concerned with religion but rather with the symbolism of the architectural elements. She interprets the minaret as representing the masculine form and the dome as the feminine, whilst the geometrical panels surrounding them are intended to depict love stories. Samira Hodaei sees the prayer beads as symbolizing the give and take of love relationships - the memories, to which we cling in the belief that these will bring us closer to our beloved, though in reality they act as obstacles. The only way to overcome them and, having done so, to achieve true, mystical love is, in the artist’s eyes, through working on ones innermost self. The choice of colors she applies to the painting is by no means random. She has deliberately selected colors that reflect her critical commentary on the social attitudes towards love in her country. By painting the panels black Samira wishes to demonstrate that in Iranian society bodily love is regarded as immoral, while her use of red is designed to indicate that any form of physical interaction with a woman during menstruation is – to this very day - considered sinful.
To enter the second room, the visitor has to pass through a beaded curtain representing a female figure. Samira Hodaei refers to this representation as "The Creator, The Sacred Female, Mother Nature", a powerful figure that is both loved and feared. Here, one has to draw back the beaded curtain - just as one would with a veil - in order to reach the next stage of the installation. This is Samira Hodaei’s way of demonstrating the symbolic act of opening up the soul to the Sufi path of spiritual orientation. In Islam, this requires the soul to pass through seven stages of development, though the ultimate goals - the ecstasy of love and enlightenment - are familiar to all kinds of mystic movements. And so the installation ends with a room that serves as a metaphor for the final stage of spiritual development – in keeping with the Arab saying that "the metaphor is the bridge to truth".
Samira Hodaei was born in Tehran in 1981. She studied at both the Shahrivar Art School and Shariaati Art University as well as Alzahra Art University in Tehran. On completing her studies, she worked for six years as assistant to the internationally acclaimed artist Reza Derakshani. In 2010, she was invited to work in Switzerland as part of the Artist In Residence program of the Oryx Foundation. The works of the artist have been on show in exhibitions in Switzerland, Qatar, Australia, Turkey, Germany and at art fairs such as those in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Her work "Endless" was selected for showing at the Funsasaka-Osaka Biennale in Japan in the autumn of 2012. Samira Hodaei lives and works in Tehran.
The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with kunstundhelden (Berlin) and AB Gallery (Lucerne/Zurich). www.ab-gallery.com, www.kunstundhelden.de
|SAMIRA HODAEI: Dancing the sharp Edge, Virtual Dance, 2013|
mixed media on canvas, 224 x 145 cm