The Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear, Suite I, 2004
Hand-painted digital print on transparent film by the artist
8 x 15 cm
Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to present an exclusive presentation of Farideh Lashai's The Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear Suite I, a portfolio of 22 hand-painted Silkscreen prints and one original work from Farideh Lashai's seminal installation of the same name.
The installation Tyranny of Autumn was commissioned and produced for the Gardens of Iran: Ancient Wisdom, New Visions exhibition in 2004 at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Sharjah Art Foundation has reconstructed the installation for the first time as part of the Farideh Lashai retrospective. The installation is composed of four cylinder-shaped fences suspended from the ceiling. In these sheer columns small sheets of thin film hang. On each piece of film the image of a cypress tree is printed as well as poems from Hafiz about the celebrated cypress tree. Gestures of blue, green, red and yellow illuminate the Plexiglas cards hanging inside the cylinders. The retrospective was curated by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi and is currently on view until 14 May, 2016.
The symbol of the cypress tree that survives the winter and remains green references a part of the Iranian identity and culture that has thrived amidst periods of foreign occupations and social unrest. The openness of the work invites the viewer to engage in a similar oscillation between the different senses that the work induces. One may search for a metaphor for paradise. This is expressed in the formal garden of palaces known as four fold gardens, that are represented in Persian carpets as four plots bounded by four watercourses. Perhaps one could read the four transparent columns in this installation as vertical rivers that are full of life with allusions to trees and flowers. Yet, another interpretation of the work could be that the image of the tree is a passageway to nothingness. By repeating the mantra of the cypress tree, thousands and thousands of times, its form melts into abstraction. Surrounded by the columns with the overturned cypress trees, the artist highlights the empty space and the perishing of collective memory. The anxiety induced by this scene of falling apart becomes an invitation to experience emotions of ecstasy and yearning. Here, the performance in this installation becomes a search for liminal spaces and ephemeral moments.
The hand painted Silkscreen portfolio is produced by The Farideh Lashai Foundation and based on original drawings and materials by Farideh Lashai for the installation.