Niyaz Azadikhah | "Salāsat": Dastan's Basement
A solo presentation of works by Niyaz Azadikhah at Dastan's Basement
Niyaz Azadikhah, Abandoned, 2019
Niyaz Azadikhah, Falling Out, 2019
Niyaz Azadikhah, Hot Flash, 2020
Niyaz Azadikhah, Lip Armor, 2019
Niyaz Azadikhah, Orange Struck 1, 2019
Niyaz Azadikhah, Reproach, 2018
Dastan is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Niyaz Azadikhah titled "Salāsat." The exhibition will open on Friday, July 10, 2020, and will be on display for public viewing through July 24. Her first solo show at Dastan, this exhibition features watercolor and acrylic paintings on paper, stitch works on textile and animations.
Niyaz Azadikhah (b. 1984, Tehran) is a Tehran-based multimedia artist. She studied Fine Arts at the International University of Fundamental Studies (Moscow, Russia) and obtained an animation certificate from Jahad Daneshgahi, University of Tehran (Tehran, Iran). Her works have been featured in numerous exhibitions such as Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA, 2018), Galerie Utopia (Berlin, 2014), Jorjani Gallery (Tehran, 2013), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2012), and Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde (Duabi, 2011).
The title of the current exhibition is drawn from a line of poetry by Reza Baraheni. The line reads as follows: "Into the lucidity (Salāsat) of your hands, I shall enquire the entirety of my life". Focusing on the multiplicity of meaning and different connotations of the word 'Salāsat,' the artist catalogues its definitions as tenderness, simplicity, gentleness and smoothness. The poet's original word choice in Persian also reflects the same semantic potentiality through which he evokes a diverse range of associations. This makes it almost impossible to arrive at a single exact translation of the word.
Through her work, Niyaz Azadikhah relates the stories of the people she comes across. Exploring the inner worlds of the storytellers, her work burrows right into the consciousness of the viewer, making theme engage with their personal feelings by addressing them directly to a scene. In an attempt to conquer the inherent untranslatability of emotions expressed by each storyteller, Niyaz produces and re-produces each story through different media from painting and stitch work to video animation. The artist sees her stitch work textiles as bodies that incorporate the emotions and the memories of their narrator. Words, once uttered, are turned into stitches marked on the textile, forming a visual imagery which evokes associations previously dismissed in the letters. As the artist states:
"Personal stories of human emotion inspire me. Fear, love, childhood memories, confessions, abuse, cultural taboos, traumas that have shaped our lives and circumstances we are born to all form the foundation for my practice - video animations and stitched-work textiles.
In my stitched pieces, I think of thread on fabric as my drawing medium. I transform collected oral narratives into a visual voice as I needle in the story, threading a narrative which shapes into a stitched drawing in the process. I like the inherent soft and delicate nature of thread on fabric, which evokes the same texture as in the intimacy of the emotions depicted. I think of this as redressing a story's emotional marks, sewing them into gentle retellings that tug at our heart's strings."
Special thanks to Maryam Shahverdi, Shaqayeq Jahanbani, Mehrdokht Jamali, Maral Baladi (For helping with the stich works), Saeed Alvandi, Parisa Fotovat, Alborz Kazemi, Mohsen Delbari (For video animation) and Nesa Azadikhah.