Armineh Negahdari — parfois un peu beaucoup


Painting, mixed media, video

Armineh Negahdari
parfois un peu beaucoup

Past: September 7 → October 7, 2023

Armineh Negahdari and Lola Gonzalèz express very directly what they feel. What they have in common is the precious time they spend listening to themselves, with the aim of seeing themselves and the world as it is, rather than as we would like to see it. With Armineh, this desire to connect deeply with life involves intense production in the studio, to the point of saturating the floor with drawings in order to make full use of her ability to give without dominating life. For Lola, probing her own vision of the world comes down to connecting with that of others, proposing a relationship of respect, commitment and trust that is nurtured by collective action and emotional involvement, with no time limit. Armineh sides with writer and filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan, telling us that like him, she has no trouble with the night. The difficulty is waiting until morning. You have to be patient to move towards light, just as you have to be tenacious to commit yourself, as Lola does, to an ethics of love nowadays.

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T.S Eliot, The Waste Land

CB : This quote, spotted in one of my summer readings*, helps me to reflect on the drawings and sculptures of Armineh Negahdari as well as on Lola Gonzalèz’s film Appelle-moi [Call me].
There are a number of reasons that prompt me to use these words as a link to think about the ways in which these two storyteller-artists co-produce reality by subjectively seeking to create multiple versions of the surrounding world, which is characterised by disorder, violence and collapse. They respond to this reality with stories of context. Stories they do not overlook, both out of necessity and social awareness. We share this need. That’s what it takes to keep fear at a distance: to bear witness, to tame and to bring to life an environment, to align oneself with what exists and what is lost. Far from being innocent, the works of Armineh and Lola deploy limited means of production. While Armineh organises dust of graphite, of charcoal and oil pastel, she adds to the idea of remains (or of “handful of dust”) whimsical forms produced in a desert of sand, where we end up encountering, hidden within the work, a deep desire to believe in spite of everything. Each different piece of paper or canvas becomes the medium for other materials: an emotional fabric that is familiar to us. Thereby, the world that is so often separated from us, enters us and makes us more active. Lola is aware of the obstacles that need to be eliminated if better communication is to be established between human beings, and a spiritual relationship is to form and cement images into a life system. A language that is invented and then reinterpreted can help. These spiritual values, this unprofitable bond with a being or an object, are hard to embody, which is why, in return, we need to be prepared to receive a work of art. It’s always easier to judge a work than to immerse ourselves in it. To love and to believe involves putting fear at a distance, to avoid being indifferent or powerless. Armineh shows this with dry forms whose precise outlines, colours, inside and flavours one has to imagine, with delight. Lola films this process through two portraits of women who haunt the landscape with their knowledge, their ubiquitous presence, their empathy and their humour.

IA : Positioning ourselves inside a work rather than as an external judge is a good way of defining how, I believe, we consider the gallery’s work. To be with Armineh at the heart of her drawing practice is to realise the extent to which humans and stones, animate and inanimate beings are all part of the same logic. At least in terms of representation as Armineh practises it. Looking at a work of art from the inside also means gaining easier access to the representations of the world that are at stake in its making. Thus, in the works of Armineh and Lola, we perceive a form of contemporary animism: a landscape and a human voice become equivalent, a body is just a few strokes away from being a stone or a fruit. Their practice’s poor production means could be described as a link to conceptual or minimal forms from the past. Instead, I’d like to link them to a deliberately forward-looking desire to turn towards our immediate future: what will be left of the human in a world that is in the grip of disasters? The suggested way out is a scattered, stone or forest being, existing only through its voice or its sketched outline, consisting of scraps of fabric (as with Armineh’s new sculptures). A being that has abandoned all productive, competitive will and is no longer in control of everything. A spirit that haunts the world it has destroyed.

*Jean-Christophe Cavallin, Valet noir, Éditions Corti, 2021

translation: Callisto McNulty

Armineh Negahdari was born in 1994 in Tehran (Iran) and currently lives in Clermont-Ferrand (France). She received a Master’s degree in painting from the University of Art and Architecture of Tehran in 2019 and a Higher National Diploma of Plastic Expression at École Supérieure d’art de Clermont-Ferrand in 2022. Since then, she has participated to the 16th edition of nopoto in Paris, and to the 28th edition of Première which included a group exhibition at Meymac art center (France) from 30.10.22 to 15.01.23 and a show at Centro de Arte Oliva in Sao Joao da Madeira from 8.04 to 16.06.23. Her work is currently shown at Grand Café in Saint-Nazaire (France) in the group exhibition “Souvenir Nouveau” (cur. Anne Bonnin), displayed until 10.09.202

Born in Angoulême (France) in 1988, Lola Gonzàlez lives in Paris. She graduated from the Lyon School of Fine Arts in 2012 and is currently a resident of Pavillon Neuflize OBC, Palais de Tokyo’s creative laboratory, which displayed her work several times within its walls. She recently was a part of Bordeaux contemporary art museum’s collective show “Antéfutur” (7.04.23 — 3.09.23) and will present her next film entitled “Mouradia” (2023) at the cultural center Labanque in Béthune (France), which show “A nos élans” will open on 14.09.23

Marcelle Alix Gallery Gallery
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