Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content

Press Release

On view from March 2021, Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to present “Mirror” by Aref Motazeri. In this collection, titled “Mirror”, the looking glass as an apparatus of representation is revisited to become a represented object Itself. The challenge is to give form to this amorphous concept. What is always used as a reflective surface to mediate between the I & the non-Is’ in a Lacanian sense, becomes an autonomous thing in itself to be reflected upon.


It is only when the mirror is turned inside-out that it’s autonomy as an object is explicated. As a means of reflecting the realm of real, mirror has always acquired a symbolic order & in this transition, its physicality is always Implicit. From a conventional point of view the subliminal existence of mirror does not go beyond the reflective surface but can be found behind it.


In each and every exercise to look at the mirror from behind, this process of explication of its existence is further enhanced through formal investigation of possibilities. Each piece is endowed with a narrative layer as well, ranging from straight forward deformation of a platonic form, to revisit the concept of the cage as an archetypal device of controlling bodies & spaces that they Inhibit.


The artist’s technique in revisiting the potentials of the reflective surface reminds one of the Situationist International detournement. As a “situationist use of the means”, material condition of the mirror, its artistic heritage as well as its contemporary culture, is integrated “into a superior construction of {a] milieu.”







Aref Montazeri was born in Tehran, Iran in 1986. He is a sculptor removed from conventional practices, he pursues a novel approach to mirror art that involves large numbers of mirror cuts and meticulous attention to detail. Conceptually, he follows an approach he has termed "The MIRROR follows narrative"; which favours materialism over ornamentalism and resilience of design over buildability. His design apparatus consists of three criteria: Narrative, Material and Technique. Which is also the way he looks at art and creates it.


 He started his training during the time he collaborated with Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian on design and fabrication of around 60 sculptures (2009-15). Additionally, he was involved in fabrication of Parviz Tanavoli’s sculptures and jewelries (2012-14). He was artist-in-residence and collaborated with TUIC (Tehran Urban Innovation Center) on research projects in areas such as smart techniques and innovative materials (2016-18). Moreover he was artist-in-residence for seven months, in a collaboration with Maleki Collection in Beaulieu-sur-Mer in south of France, he fabricated three sculptures for this project, "EMBRACE", "MIRROR 11" and the most laborious mirror artwork titled “PARADOX” which consists of 70,000 mirror pieces (2018-20).