Maziyar Mokhtari - Solo Show

26 Feb - 9 Mar, 2021

O Gallery presents “Muse_um” a collection of recent works by Maziar Mokhtari (b.1980 Isfahan), curated by Chiara Pirozzi and in collaboration with Emrooz Gallery./// The research conducted by Maziar Mokthari for the Muse_um project has been developed over the past two years and represents a direct continuation of previous works. The Muse_um project is presented for the first time in Tehran with a selection of works and an installation specially conceived for the space of the O Gallery, as an organic path that rhythmically blends the stillness of photography with the movement of the video. Maziar Mokthari’s reflections start from observing the city of Rome, where he lives and works, from its impressive manifestation of identity and power through monuments and the conservation of art collections. From these sites, Muse_um arises from the error that the artist makes in interpreting the etymology of the term “Museum”. Maziar Mokthari, in fact, merges and confuses the “sacred place of the Muses” with the historical figure of Moses. From this error, the artist initiates historical and philosophical research on theories relating to the origins of language, transiting between the secular and religious culture of East and West. At the center of the exhibition is the multi-channel video created through the sequential construction of hundreds of photographic shots reproduced in motion. The set was prepared in the darkness of a space that was always the same dimension, in which a single ray of light penetrated. The fusion of the images creates seamless visual linearity, in which the narrative is composed through the presence of three structural elements: the wall, the plane and the objects. The use of a trilogy is a constant form in Maziar Mokhtari’s works, together with the presence of a symbolic and historical numerology that crosses East and West. There are also three colours used by the artist, namely yellow, black and white. These are the metaphorical expressions of the three elements at the basis of the alchemical sciences, namely mercury, sulfur and salt. In Maziar Mokhtari’s works there is a formal balance coming from the use of symmetry and geometry, which resonate in Muse_um, a meeting point in the written form and in the calligraphic art. The artist traces the word khatt (خط) which in Persian has the double meaning of “written” and “line”. The word is transformed in the video into an infinite horizon that opens the scene beyond the wall. Muse_um proposes a linear story that is made obvious thanks to the juxtaposition of objects, creating a visual discourse constructed thanks to the presence of altars, ex-votos, apotropaic objects with an iconological and semiotic value that is never unique. In all of Mokhtari’s works, the presence of light represents an important symbolic value and is manifested in photographs and videos as a pictorial substance, thanks to the use of a grazing light of a Caravaggesque nature. The exhibition presents a series of photographic installations, in which colours and symbols are present and the idea of fragment and still life are recurring. Maziar Mokhtari realizes his works based on pictorial training, setting the dialogue between light, nature and the background that he animates with video and photographic language in an infinite sequence-plan of objects. In this way, the artist creates a single composition with a strong theatrical sense and, at the same time, proposes sculptural assemblages with everyday objects, while evoking universal symbols and metaphors. – Chiara Pirozzi


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