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Lifeline - about Nilofar Kosheshis exhibition

Based on our cultural and social affinities, we bear the often unspoken
ideas about how art should look. Nilofar Kosheshis exhibition "lifeline"
at the Paletten gallery does not reflect, at least not instantly, my beliefs
about how a photo exhibition by a contemporary artist "usually" look like.
That´s, among other things, what makes it so strong and surprising
in several ways.
In response to the 70's socially engaged art, it was,
with few exceptions, a period "out there" to talk about art with a message.
Post modernists rebelled against modernism in all its forms and political
ideologies were abandoned in favor of philosophical and
psychoanalytic theories. But in parallel with conceptually oriented artists
came to a number of artists in his works himself disclosure address the
issues surrounding identity from a particular ethnic, sexual or gender.
I think of artists as Mona Hatoum, Kim Zhang Huan, Ma Liumoing,
Gilber & George, Kim Soo-Ja and Gillian Wearing.
Others have specially in the 90s in his art dealt with social injustice
such as Ann-Sofie pages with his video about prostitution in the
eastern parts of Europe. These artists' works are mostly based from
individuals and expresses also to a specific individual.

One problem associated with the particular socially engaged art is
how it should be able to maintain its sharp and provocative
charge even after receiving recognition as a work of art or artistic practice.
The paradox seems to occur to the acceptance of a work of art while it may
deprive one of its subversive force. One father who works Nilofar Kosheshis
escape in a non-audience ratings means.

Nilofar Kosheshis exhibition at the Paletten Gallery includes a detailed
installation and ten large color photographs, all included in the coarse,
black hand-carved frames. Of frames marked lack of beauty in the
ordinary sense prevents the viewer to add an aesthetic filter over the
works and thus evade a position.
The exhibition is about the woman, the woman shrouded in Islamic chador,
but Oksa of man, everyone of us. The photographs are enactments which
availed herself of their own bodies and their faces She comes from the
dictatorship of Iran, who feel strongly in the works both repression of
the Muslim woman and of an entire people. The beautiful Arabic
calligraphic characters are forming in some of the photographs like
a barbed wire fence, as in "The sign behind the mirror". The pain and
grief is evident in each individual works with their dull coloring, built
with a sometimes "remrandtskt" chiaroscuro sometimes chilly
blue-green to deep red. Anxiety and repression is apparent especially
in a work that shows a woman's face with the mouth forming a shout,
which has been effectively silenced by the transparent glass cube,
which encloses the face.
The installation "omnipotent" Kosheshi incloses the visitor in a very small
room filled with dark soil inside the delicate white fabric. Above the soil
Kosheshi has arranged as a collage of cool blue and white limbs, which
freely swinges in the air around the image of a female doll deprived of
one breast, wounded, cracked, tortured like a Christian martyr, Saint Sebastian.
The exhibition presents far from only the oriental woman's vulnerability.
Nilofar Kosheshi argue her origin, not least through a deep sensuality
that permeates the exhibition. She dares to portray the alianated in all
its complexity. Both repression and the sensual enjoyment. It is also
exciting with the associations with Christianity, which her
works gives. Both religiously and culturally, she shows the common
to be human. No matter what religion we have, what origin we have,
what sex we have. While she portrays the specific individual.

Margareta Persson, artist and art historian

"Lifeline" by Nilofar Kosheshi was shown at Paletten Gallery 20/1 - 18/2 2001.




It depends not only on the more cozy and intimate exhibition environment
that I become more impressed by a completely different photo-artist,
namely Nilofar Kosheshi, presented in the Paletten Gallery .

Lifeline she calls her exhibition with large, painterly beautiful and
ambiguous color photographs in which she plays different women´s roles.
She originally comes from Iran, and it´s of course inevitable to relate
her images to the current debate about different cultures views upon
women and the terrible consequences of these contradictory points of
view that comes with it.

There is a clear tone of symbolism and surrealism through her evocative
images: the woman's head wrapped in plastic that tries to articulate a cry
creates a sense of anxiety loaded claustrophobia, while the girl´s face,
emerging between the decaying bird feathers only expresses total
resignation and an infinite sadness.

Behind a curtain there is an installation with a more absurd turned up tone.
On the floor lies a mound just gathered that smells strongly of mold,
and above it one sees a picture of a woman in a casing of pink paper mâché.
Only her breasts just visible, the left one eroded, black and empty,
the right healthy and thriving. Here, I think Didier Massard is approaching
Frida Kahlo in an almost burlesque, steaming female expression.
It is very good!



Sensuous arabesques

Nilofar Kosheshis black and white images are staggering beautiful.
Perhaps too spectacularly provocative, viewed from a certain perspective.
Against pitch-black background develops soft organic forms - breasts,
venus hills, arms and thighs - to be doubled and multiplied in kaleidoscopic
patterns. It is intimate, sensual and intensely fascinating, balanced
somewhere between the graceful arabesques and optical aberrations
with psychedelic dephts.

"Sin ornamentation" she calls her exhibition at Gallery Rostrum in Malmö,
a bold attemt that, as she writes "exceed the taboo limits surrounding the
human body in relation to the "calligraphic" culture and visulize new
ornamental motifs of the naked body".
The image suite can be seen as a refined but also radical commentary
on the ornamental image tradition that emerged in the islamic culture,
where the representation of the human body, espacially the naked woman,
been subject to taboo.With her digital processed photographes, which
also takes the shape of geometric objects, Kosheshi dissolves the dividing
line between imaging and ornaments. The most sinful turn into beautiful
arabesques, all at once abstract and sensual bodily.

Carolina Soderholm