Focusing mainly on hierarchical and puissant nature of mankind viewed from a philosophical and geopolitical perspective, 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 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.
Colonial body-islands Interactive installation
Globalization has been portrayed as a worldwide interlinking of free markets and cultural institutions, a global village interconnected by advanced communication technologies, social networks and deregulated travel. A new world order promising democratization and egalitarian participation in society. In besides of this utopian description, what sounds more realistic about this new order is the increasingly unequal accessibility of resources, and the rise of privileged few occupying elite corporate multinational and governmental positions which leads us to the actual globalization crisis era in which we live. The era of growing economic inequality, the increasing influx of migrants and refugees into the more privileged geographies of the globe, seeking least standards of leaving. Escaping from repressive regimes, poverty and imposed conflicts. The melting and disappearing economical borders, appear around bodies, this small consuming companies of the post capitalism era. The borders, which are needed to disappear to facilitate the flow of goods and trade exchanges, are henceforth drawn around the bodies of the marginalized social/racial/religious classes to remove these bothersome bodies from the borderless economical globe. These moving borders are Colonial Island like bodies scattered in the oceans, floating towards more privileged geographies.
During 2017, 33000 Migrants drowned or missed in the Mediterranean Sea while struggling to reach the European union borders. Body/borders located in the blind spot of the contemporary political geographies. Geographies build up on the basis of fear. In the failure and the lack of ideologies and the failure to ratify any kind of common constitution, fear becomes the only unifying tool. Fear like a very precious controllable commodity is a gift in the hands of the post capitalist mass medias, politicians and multinational corporations. In this pandemic fear of the other, the one who will come to ruin our bright future, these migrant bodies become the main core of fear. These bodies are drawn in the realm of absolute senselessness, in the zone where no feelings are evoked.
These stipples, these body-borders, these islands, have left behind the gates of the globalization, not only in the Mediterranean Sea but also in the brightest spots of our mega cities. Their voices are muted and their bodies disregarded in a transparent geography.
“Colonial Body Islands and the strategic depth” is a representation of the migrant’s body, the migrant on the boat with a life jacket, the migrant with his very stereotype image in our mind, or even the only conception we have of him.
A statue in resin, its body drilled to implant metal pin bars. The pin bars are positioned in specific spots of the statue to play a specific music piece once they touch the keyboard next to it. The rotational motion of the statue in its horizontal axis is setout, tuned and controlled with the help of three cogwheels. The spectator is allowed to interact with the installation piece by turning a rotary crowbar conjunct to the axis of the statue to play the music. But the tunes won’t be heard as the whole body of the statue is installed in an aquarium load with water. All that we hear will be the metallic sound of the moving gears the lever and swash of water.
* This video is a 3D model for an interactive sculpture work in progress.