Please join us Thursday, May 23rd, 6 – 9 pm for the opening of As Dreams, the first solo-exhibition of Yasi Alipour.
As Dreams is dedicated to the personal narrative of two key moments in the history of the artist’s home-country, Iran. This exhibition brings together key elements of the Alipour’s multidisciplinary practice. The combination of works on paper and experimentations in writing reflects on two recent research projects.
The first part focuses on one of the country’s most debated decade, beginning with the Islamic Revolution (1979) and culminating in the end of the eight-year war with Iraq (1989). The artist aims to capture the spirit of this unhinged history. Through a long collaborative process, the artist has worked with dozens of Iranians of her generation—born after the decade—to create a collection of second-hand memories. In this project, Alipour presents this history through fragmentation and the reminiscent of tales once told at home. In the end, she matches each story with one of her folded works on paper. Here, she focuses, deconstructs, and rigorously repeats a single design, which is found throughout Iran—from the iconic mosques, domes, and architecture, to the mundane forgotten bathhouses and the bureaucratic logos of the government. In the repetition of these elaborate and hand-made folds, the artist’s gesture of mark-making and note-taking becomes unravaled.
The second part reflects on a series of correspondences—found in the archives of Princeton university—between the artist’s maternal great grandmother, Fakhri Garakani, and the President of the United States. It begins with a cold letter written in 1961 by Garakani, where as an artist determined to gain international recognitions, she sends one of her most elaborate embroideries to be gifted, considered, accepted, and even compensated by the POTUS. The correspondences that follow, spanning over months and many characters, show Garakani’s ceaseless attempts to save her work of art. Here Alipour, uses her language of folding and mark-making to begin a generational conversation between two artists where the focus is on movement, repetition, labor, exhaustion, futility, and the call for recognition.