Variations on An Instrument of a Human Anatomy
21 April -26 May, 2017

Assar Art Gallery presents Variations on An Instrument of a Human Anatomy, an exhibition of the recent collection of artworks by Payam Mofidi.

In his third solo show with the gallery, the artist showcases his latest multi-disciplinary project that took him two years to complete.

Focusing mainly on hierarchical and puissant nature of mankind viewed from a philosophical and geopolitical perspective with reference to Foucault’s approach to power in the context of society of control and Deleuze’s notion of body without organs, in this exhibition, Payam Mofidi sets an ambience for his viewers to experience his interpretation of the mentioned concepts through his arrangement of a moving sculpture, four videos, eighteen etchings, two copper plates and nine drawings.

The core of the exhibition is a life-sized blindfolded sculpture of a man made of white resin that performs as an interactive entity. Standing on a plinth, it is supplied with a handle that makes it possible for the audiences to push it down mechanically and leave it there to bounce back to its upright position in a pendulum motion. The sculpture is self-referential as it came to life in Mofidi’s 2014 video titled Cohesive Disorder 3 in which a hand used a piece of cloth as a blindfold and covered a man’s eyes causing him to wander in vain for the rest of the movie.

The videos consist of two pairs, one shot in Iran’s Saari and the other in Canada’s Montreal.  Each of the pairs includes a video demonstrating the installation procedure of the disjointed sculpture on a plinth portraying the violence that exists in the assemblage of a long-lived entity (one shot in a cellar in Iran and the other in a meadow in Canada; 3’ 21” each). These set of videos also imply the interpretability of position of power and its domineering determination. The second set of videos, however, portray the passage of time and the change of day and night through which the sculpture swings down and up in a pendulum motion (10’ 25” each). Further to backing the main concept of globality of the ‘controlling society’ as a notion, the videos imply the possibility of its replication in different geographies. Added to this assemblage are the drawings that picture “the man” in various episodes of daily life. And last but not least are the etchings in two different sizes as well as two copper plates in which the decapitated head of the sculpture is placed horizontally on various backgrounds in various geographical contexts.

The presentation as a whole, endorses the essentialism of political power and at the same time reflects the revolt against it as ineffective.

Born in 1980 in Tehran, Iran, Payam Mofidi has held several solo exhibitions in Iran and Thailand and participated in many group exhibitions and art festivals worldwide. He has also received many grants and awards in the past decade. Before moving to Montreal, Canada, where he currently lives and works, Payam received his Master’s degree in Animation from L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratif in Paris and his BA in Graphic Design from Azad University in Tehran.