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Untitled, 2017/2020

Video by Issa Heliz & Tohid Molla

With their use of natural elements, Vooria Aria’s artworks explore conceptual and material relationships to the artist’s home, Sanandaj, in western Iran. A central characteristic of this exploration is a simultaneous process of defamiliarization, which emerges as a central motif throughout his works. Form and material are represented as physical processes of fragmentation and segmentation, whereby the natural materials used – pieces of slate split off from the local mountains and then ground to powder, as well as hemp rope made from local materials – are either emptied of their old meanings, thus taking on new connotations, or newer meanings emerge layer by layer in addition to the older ones. For example, heirlooms inherited from his father and grandmother – namely the traditional rugs and fabric, Jajim and Mooj, from his native Sanandaj – which were originally intended as places of invitation to sit and to live, but in the context of Aria’s works these become more reminiscent of the shapes of birds or fighter planes. Aria’s interests revolve around material structures that carry a sense of connection and familiarity but that therefore also inherently carry a potential for defamiliarization and loss. Migration and society and Aria’s own childhood memories are recurring themes in his work, which thrives on and lives from the inherent processes of contrast and defamiliarization he identifies. READ MORE…

_ Baharak Omidfard

Untitled, 2017/2020, 13x120x90cm, slate, glass slab, and paint; Photo Vooria Aria


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