Beyond aesthetic kitsch, the works of Nargess Hashemi offera vision of acynical part of Iranian society, mired in the comfortof tradition.
On large rectangular panels covered with lavishly fabric - richly embroidered or sewn sequins, Nargess Hashemi has set a transparent plastic sheet on which appears an interior scene drawn inblack marker. Both layers would contrast and compliment each other at the same time: the monochrome tracing, close to the cartoon, overly detailed and decorative plays over the kitch and colourful background. The images recreate scenes from engagement parties, wedding photographs or impromptu gatherings. created from photographs taken by the artist in her own family. These events took place in the summer of 2009, when riots broke out in the streets of Iran.
Away from the chaos, the party scenes transcribed by the artist seem deaf to the reality of the country. In a first stage, the couple dressed Western-style sit on a sofa, according to the Iranian tradition with a curtain rolled over them by the guests and the Koran placed on a side table. In a second, the couple seats on the left facing a buffet luxuriously decorated with a starry cloth, floral composition and fruit baskets while jars and decorated chests are garnishing the ground. At left is the family. No smile. The characters are struck dumb. The lifeless atmosphere is far from the apparent joy that would evoke the scenery. Something sounds wrong. Or hollow. Metallic luster and glitter, paradoxically, only reinforces this coldness.
Even smiling, the characters are inconsistent, with no real depth or expressiveness. As if the artist had put to a distance a sealed life, isolated in the illusion of happiness.In these images, made suffocating by the overbearing smiles and abundant kitsch, we glimpse a comfort zone - accessible to all who are willing to live amid store-bought sentimentalism and pseudo-romantic wrapping paper.
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