Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Artist's Bio

پرستو فروهر

Parastou Forouhar

The multiple aspects of Parastou Forouhar’s artistic and social life has made of her an artist who does not see the output of any thought in an art work. Art discourse is along with a kind of questioning radicalism for her, not an explicit answer that limits the possibilities of doubts and struggles of her explorer mind. Her personal, social and artistic life got divided into two parts since the winter of 98 and political assassinations that brutally took away her mother and father, Parvaneh Eskandari and Dariush Forouhar, from her. However, either in the first part with numerous abstract paintings, taking part in participatory works of art in alternative art groups in Germany and digital confrontation with Iranian ornamental design, or in the second part which presents some motivating, litigating and informative works, she never fell into the abyss of simplification of concepts, rather takes risks in terms of concept and form; especially when she chooses Iranian and German cultural and visual clichés to take back the simplistic concepts in the challenge with the audience’s mind and take advantage of stereotypical and sometimes exotic elements in its own critique on the edge of a delicate razor.

Parastou Forouhar constantly shares the audience with her work in its aesthetic part; sometimes with thumbnail cinema booklets and fight with violence, aggression and torture through a quick and playful flip, sometimes with helium-filled balloons that only participating in pulling them down makes the awareness of violent patterns possible, and sometimes with taking the documents of a case to the gallery with a printer and sharing the litigation’s responsibility with the audience.

By cohesive compositions and patterns, she gives the audience the experience of the entanglement of security and beautiful ideal order with violence being reproduced. In her multiple works, she considers the patterns as a closed structure of symmetry, balance and ideal order. Therefore, any visual element that wants to not follow the structure rules, is annoying and a violator of the rules and shall be eliminated. “Isn’t this the definition of fascism and a totalitarian system?”, she asks. Totalitarianism not only defines the howness of humans’ presence, but also the space between them, and nothing but the imposed rules can take place. In the middle of this totalitarian order, she traps the human body in a structure that is both its denial and its confirmation; a dual presence that both the structure is imposed on it and at the same time is its constructor.

Parastou Forouhar is not just one person. She is numerous people, in constant struggle with forgetfulness.