“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown”, says René Magritte. This theory befits Fatemeh Pakdel’s artworks which are currently exhibiting in the Vista Art Gallery in Tehran. Although the international market has been enthusiastically welcoming the artworks of Middle Eastern artists who are studying the socio-political complexity of their country of origin in recent years, this young Iranian artist offers apparently intimate paintings that refrain from using simple aesthetic manipulations by moving away from the tendencies in the most prominent exhibitions. The artworks of Fatemeh Pakdel, who completed her education at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of Islamic Azad University in 2016, is in fact focused on contemporary conscious humanism which places the suffers of a globalized world that has become more isolated from centralization in culture in the subconscious mind of human, to blend them with the deepest layers of existence in which geographic time and borders have indeterminate and unstable boundaries.
Fatemeh’s protagonists are female single images that have been realized with various degrees of realism. These images emerges from abstract depths in which painting flows abandoned from any boundary and objective instance. Photographic cut of the image suggests that the artwork is born from understanding the everyday opportunities that seem unimaginable at first sight. It also marks the transformation of the artist’s empathetic look into the gates towards the most mysterious layers of the soul. Though, the human mind tries to protect itself from the pain and chaos of the world using purgation mechanisms that suppress mental wounds in the limbo of unconscious, Pakdel goes ahead in the opposite direction in her paintings and uses the same purgation methods to reach the heart of the problem and reveal the hidden consequences.
Each of the images, on one hand, appears accurately identified by special details to define their individuality and on the other hand, it is free from the basic physical features (vital organs, eyes, hair) to direct the observer to recognize the concept of what has been removed in these contradictory images.Thus, objects will become instances of existential conditions that always affect on human feelings and activities (such as loneliness, waiting, calmness, disorder, or anger) and are portrayed with bare honesty on the canvas, and immortalize the irrevocable existence of the mortal moment and push the man towards identification.
Although imagination, which is often subtle, plays an important role in filling some of the gaps in our understanding and giving direction to our choices, inpainting, it allocates a suitable form and color to an entity that has an immaterial nature and emerges the invisible. Hence, in Pakdel’s paintings, the virtual elements that makes the objects unrecognizable act as spaces that connect the logical environment (that belongs to the surface order and arrangement of objects) to the solitude of a private environment in which the emotions that create the external reality are spreading into an impenetrable psychosocial and biological amalgam. Therefore, the most authoritative meaning of this artwork is given to the words of a pure painting that explodes from the depths, drops and shouts as if this tone is the painted characters’ voices and the direct manifestation of their internal rebellion towards the frequent omissions and censures imposed by life. The artist’s movement, which is evident in drawing and cleverly camouflaged, helps to express feelings in these shapes. Feelings that may have suppressed for a long time, but the painter does not allow them to be dominated by instinct and because of them lose the control over everything.
The Monologue exhibition shows 11 female protagonists who have been placed on the canvas with all their intrinsic necessity. These characters, surrounded by their doubts and weaknesses, are alone with their own and sometimes with their memories and boast of their power. Some of them look proudly at the observer, some cover themselves in the layers of colors that protect them. Some others have neither eyes nor faces, and some have a nature like glorious ghosts or people shadows. It’s impossible to get (and perhaps it is not important enough to find out) whether these images refer to specific people or they are just painter’s mental imagery that are talking to their own experiences. But, of course, all of these images together create a colorful comprehensive painting including unexplainable emotional components that connect human beings to the events of his life. Moreover, the small amount of physical and corporeal details pointing to our concurrency enhances the riddle instead of being constant points for the narrative interpretation of a certain image while tempting us to read the unwritten words on the lines we have to look for ourselves and others in search of further questions not pretend that there are certain answers in this regard.
Hence, by recounting Magritte’s quote it is obvious that Fatemeh Pakdel’s paintings attraction is because of her spontaneous ability to evoke the unknown in life situations and enchanting the look with the ideas that have unknown meanings, but because of secret proximity, provokes our unconditional sense of belonging to these paintings.
Fateme Pakdel. Monologue.
private viewing: 19 October 2017
public opening: 20 – 25 October 2017
Vista Art Gallery
No.11, Twelfth street, Miremad Ave. Tehran
Fateme Pakdel, Untitled, painting, acrylic, 150 x 150 cm
Fateme Pakdel, Stronger, painting, acrylic, 90 x 60 cm
Fateme Pakdel, Drowned, paintin, acrylic, 120 x 90 cm
Fateme Pakdel, Untitled, painting, acrylic, 150 x 150 cm
Fateme Pakdel, Winter Sleep, painting, acrylic, 150 x 150 cm
Graduated in art history at DAMS in Bologna, city where she continued to live and work, she specialized in Siena with Enrico Crispolti. Curious and attentive to the becoming of the contemporary, she believes in the power of art to make life more interesting and she loves to explore its latest trends through dialogue with artists, curators and gallery owners. She considers writing a form of reasoning and analysis that reconstructs the connection between the artist’s creative path and the surrounding context.