Mahvash, Parivash and Friends
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 26th May 2017, on view until 9th June 2017.
“Mahvash, Parivash and Friends” is the second solo exhibition of Amitis Motevalli at Aaran Gallery. Named after pop singer Jalal Hemati’s song, “Parivash”, the exhibition consists of watercolor paintings on paper as well as a mixed media installation as part of an ongoing exploration into women’s labor and a continuation of concepts from her “The Stretch Manifesto” series. The paintings and installation present themselves in a simulacra of abstraction while simultaneously referencing the human body without the actual presence of the body.
The paintings, while minimalist in aesthetic, are meticulous, each shape had drawn and painted. Each painting is the result of days of painstaking work, wherein the artist’s process echoes the tedium of the women’s labor she represents symbolically. Intentionally painted to look like screened or stamped prints, the near identical repetition becomes a metaphor for market and surplus, in an industry that commodifies humans yet can not mass manufacture the body through automated means.
The paintings evoke a narrative while repeating shapes and forms through geometric patterns. They incorporates the tenets of Islamic Art, mathematical abstractions of shapes and form, without the use of the human figure, yet the figure remains hauntingly present even with its absence. It can even be assumed that the absence of the body and presence of only the wearables elevate the figures referenced to a holy status.
With minimal means and simple shapes through fabric, the installation directly engages the architecture of the gallery space. The negative space becomes as active and important as the objects engaging the space. Upon entry, the shapes and the negative space created by them pull viewers into the position and perspective of an invisible workforce. We become part of a secret world of commerce, exchange and women.