Matilda Aslizadeh, Hero of Our Time, 2008, video still
Hero of Our Time
May 3–June 28, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2–5pm
Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Vancouver-based artist Matilda Aslizadeh.
The centerpiece of Aslizadeh’s new body of work is Hero of Our Time (2008), an aesthetically rich narrative video that follows the rise and fall of Hero, a 12-year-old soldier in an unnamed “other” country. Using a combination of staged sequences that highlight artifice, classical filmmaking techniques that emphasize verisimilitude and found/documentary footage from YouTube, the video engages (and sometimes echoes) our cultural database of representations – artistic and otherwise – of the pain of others.*
Also on view will be Imagined stills (2008), a series of photographs that takes video stills from Hero of our Time as a starting point and transforms them using digital manipulation and graphic design techniques. Exuberantly reminiscent of abstracts, propaganda posters, and graphic novels, these small works take an ambivalent stance regarding the designed nature of all products and information.
Village (2008) is another series of photographs included in the exhibition and consists of large, long exposure prints of a miniature village. The use of long exposure photography and the exaggeration of scale – both techniques that are considered adverse to naturalism – ironically lends an air of realism to an obviously artificial architectural landscape.
The final piece on display is Scourge of the Beast with Two Backs (2008): a monumental banner that appears at first glance to recall a foreign script, but upon closer inspection reveals a proliferation of guns in varied compositions that recall the act of copulation.
Aslizadeh exhibits her work internationally. Her previous video piece, Office, was the subject of solo exhibitions in Vancouver (Or Gallery, 2005) and Montreal (SKOL, 2005) and was screened at Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei (2005), Viper Festival of New Media in Basel (2006) and LA Freewaves in Los Angeles (2006).
*The phrase “the pain of others” is borrowed from the title of a book by Susan Sontag: Regarding the Pain of Others (2003)