Friday, June 15, 2012

Exhibition inspired by Fez

Tonight at 7pm a special exhibition opens at the gallery at the French Institute in Fez. Iranian artist Sara Dolatabadi has spent the last month in Fez as an artist-in-residence and has created an unusual installation inspired by her time here.

Cache Cache Rouge (Hide & seek, red) consists of more than 20 works on paper, drawn and painted, hidden behind black silk embroidery thread. Some of the works suggest scenes Dolatabadi has glimpsed in Fez, such as a figure in a doorway, or a black cat. Each contains a flash of red.

"I wanted to show something, but I realised I could not show it directly...sometimes we have things that we hide, such as pain," she says. The red, signifying blood, is echoed in the long strands of the same colour hung at one end of the installation.

Now based in Paris, Dolatabadi grew up in Tehran in a creative family - her father was a writer and her uncle a painter - and began to draw at a young age. "When I was seven I drew a profile of my father...It was beautiful - he still has it."

She studied graphic design from the age of 15 and began to do figurative painting. Six years ago she moved to Tokyo and started to create installations.

"Colour is very important for me," Dolatabadi says. "It signifies something very special."

Since 2005, she has had exhibitions in New York, Tokyo and Tehran. Her most recent one, Blue Jewels, focused on homelessness in Tokyo, and was inspired by the cheap blue plastic tarpaulins that are used to cover makeshift shelters where the displaced live.

Another project in 2009, No Man's Land, saw more than 70 artists including Dolatabadi, take over the old French Embassy in Tokyo and create an intriguing series of installations reflecting its history.

"I chose to work with the Faraday cage, where diplomatic communications took place," she says. "This mysterious space was isolated from the rest of the world, a bit like the private thoughts of each person, a territory that is inaccessible by others."

For Cache Cache Rouge, her work created largely in Fez at the French Institute building in Dar Batha, Dolatabadi has used elements of what she has seen during her stay, such as the thread of the string-winders spin in the streets of Fez.

Next Tuesday she is planning an installation in the garden at Dar Batha, "with clothes and silk thread hanging from the trees", she says.  "I wanted to do something crazy for the garden. It is beautiful and I feel so relaxed here."

Sara Dolatabadi's Cache Cache Rouge is on show until July 27 at the French Institute Gallery, 12, Rue Serghini, Ville Nouvelle, Fes.


1 comment:

Aycha said...

Personnellement j'ai adoré! A mon avis l'une des meilleures expositions du moment à Fès. Et ce n'est que le fruit d'un travail de résidence!
Bonne fin d'après midi !