If the medium is the message, Mehrnoosh Roshanaei has understood this very well in her quest as a multidisciplinary artist, slipping between media and perfectly understanding the needs of each medium to convey her poetics.
This is evident in the solo exhibition curated by Leonardo Regano, which can be visited at Red Lab Gallery, a small black cube in Milan full of surprises, until Dec. 31. “Bāzghašt/Return”, this is the title of the exhibition, talks about us, our planet, our relationship with memory, the fear of dissolution and eternal return. The exhibition welcomes us by showing the different media: painting, video and augmented reality, all accompanied by the song of the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō, the last specimen of a bird species native to Hawaii. The work, The last song (2021) not only accompanies the entire visit, but also merges with the 3D video of a camellia slowly decaying, dying out, like so many other plant species. The initial anguish of the video, however, turns into a starry sky, a cloud of atoms, foreshadowing a new rebirth. The memory in this case, is not human, but is that of our entire planet. Representatives, in the artist’s poetics, are birds, migrant animals often forgotten in the environmental disaster that surrounds us, and plant species, the first silent victims of climate change.
The large painting Hope is that Feathered Thing (2022) is a summary of Mehrnoosh Roshanaei’s work. The landscape theme, from the technical side continuously rehashed, textured, contrasts with the large crane, which is flying, migrating. This is succinctly depicted as if it were a handful of pixels, as if, due to the early extinction of many species, we cannot focus on it, in a dimension between dream and reality. Or between technology and nature. As Regano writes, Roshanaei tells us about the «human-nature relationship and the mediation it undergoes by means of the technological element». The reflection on the perception of reality and technology is found in the VR work Yonder (2018). This immersive work recounts a journey, a migration between non-places that are part of the collective imagination of each/all of us, evoking the dimension of dream and deja-vu, but with the awareness that, humans and animals, move, shift and face journeys to the limits of the incredible.
Swan Song (2021), oil on canvas, again depicts a species of bird and a flower both pixelated. Placed above, it creates a bridge between the mezzanine and the lower room unifying the overall view and making the exhibition space uniform. The mountain element present here is repeated in almost all the pictorial works, evoking the large rocky mass remembered by the artist present in her childhood: in fact, this element is not drawn from photographs but is the result of memoriy, with all its inaccuracies and perceptions. The painting Hope (2021) greets us as we ascend the stairs: in this case there are two cranes. As the title of the work signals us, the hint of hope is never missing in the artist’s poetics, although the animal figure always results in the perfect formal synthesis of pixels. There is still a dimension of blur, of dream and reality. The gray hues that unite the works are reminiscent of the Tehran sky, except in Damavand (2020), where the ochre tones of the mountain depicted scream nostalgia. Spring, the latest video, is about us, human culture and the art world. Three classical sculptures are modified, undone and then made recognizable, through a floral invasion that de-composes them. Nothing on this Earth is eternal, but nothing is destroyed: everything is transformed.
Claudia Corso Marcucci
Mehrnoosh Roshanaei, Bāzghašt/Ritorno
Red Lab Gallery, Via Solari, 46, 20144 Milano
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