Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Exhibition Review

Presence of an Absence

It can be guessed from the title of the exhibition that Hodaei is seeking to induce the presence of an absence. This puzzle can be completed by seeing the work and understanding the exact kind of absence she means; the absence of those who she believes had a part in our spaces and it is less today: the oil-refinery workers.
The installation is consisting of some old gloves, an oil rig, workers’ documents, yarn, and according to the statement a little, but in fact a lot of darkness. The dimension of the work is in a way that different parts of it can be found on different floors and this has added to the awe of this darkness. The design of the pasio is such that we see the work, not as a whole, but some parts of it are separated through the frames created by the gallery’s walls.
How the work is presented helps us to have a better grasp of it and see more details. In the middle of the rig, we see the documents of the workers, which look like a seal on its body that identifies the work.
Has the presentation been accurate and successful or was just a careless and even crude attempt is the question that can be thought of! However, it may not be bad to think a little about such works at the time that the market works for those artists with identity stereotypes.
As stated in the text of the show, using such a mixture and displaying it in a gallery, she seems to be placing the manual labor of the workers against the capitalist system, which is itself one of those cliched clues to give double importance to the artworks, regardless of whether the work itself has the power to express it or not. We may consider that the artist has no role, but is it possible to attach something to the work against the will of the artist?

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