Waking up from Death Chants
Oil Color on Canvas
“A Room of One’s Own” is the result of a collaboration between five artists based in Tehran, Sari, Tabriz, and Fayetteville (Arkansas). The thematic approach in this project has been based on the dominant modern classifications in art, specifically the categorization of art and culture into the two distinctive classes of ‘high’ (fine, or polite) and ‘low’ (popular, or decorative). In this spirit, the ‘flower’ was chosen as an element linking the work of the five artists. “A Room of One’s Own” includes a carpet, a wallpaper design, a book, a number of paintings and ceramic sculptures.
Shahrzad’s painting is based on a photograph: a flower bouquet sitting in the lobby of a hotel in her hometown of Zahedan. Flower arrangement, as decorative elements and ever-present silent witnesses, have been recurring subjects in her recent work. In this piece, while the artificial bouquet appears as eternal, it has in fact collapsed. The title of the piece, “Waking Up to Death Chants”, refers to a personal memory of hers in the same location.
Alongside the painting she has also presented a photobook presented in a room with floral wallpaper of her digital paintings. The photobook is result of rephotography from flowers in political settings, analog and digital, overlayed on one another.
The title, “A Room of One’s Own”, was taken from the title of the 1929 extended essay by Virginia Woolf, and refers to the necessity of financial independence for an author (writer or artist) and to have a room of one’s own to be able to remain creatively productive. In her essay, Woolf invents a fictional character she describes as Shakespeare’s sister and examines the role of financial and gender-related inequalities in limiting her creative development and output. The title also refers to the appropriation of an exhibition space by the elements and objects accommodated within it, especially those aimed at its decoration.
Installation in Soo Gallery