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Still Life, 12’X12’ Video Installation, 3 minute continuous loop, 2012. Video Still

Still Life

A Featured Exhibition of the 2012
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival


April 5–May 26, 2012

Opening Reception:
Thursday, April 5, 5-8 pm

Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Vancouver-based artist Matilda Aslizadeh. 

This new body of work, comprised of one video installation of stop-motion animation and a series of photographs, pays homage to a sub-genre of 17th Century Dutch still-life painting named Vanitas or Momento Mori: images that were meant to remind viewers of the frailty of the body, of the transience of life and mortality. The video depicts a dense still life in which multiple narratives of life’s waning are acted out. While some objects gradually decay, others are the victims of violence and surgical repairs. Others appear to grow younger or, like Dorian Gray, maintain their youth forever. The video focuses on the connection between our mortality and the concept of waiting - a concept premised on linear thinking and a chronological organization of the world. Similarly, in time-based works, the audience conventionally waits for an event to transpire, a gesture to occur, a narrative to unfold and to be fulfilled. The different fruit and plants included in the composition are shot separately against a green screen then composited together into an epic conglomeration of different temporalities. The piece loops backwards and forwards seamlessly, creating a moving photograph in which death is always imagined but never truly arrives. 

The photographs focus on a smaller arrangement of fruit/flowers and depict the passage of time by the superimposition of two frames from the process of decay, the earlier one appearing in ghostly silver evoking a daguerreotype. The photographs also contain visual references to traditional symbols of mortality from Vanitas paintings: the nearly imperceptible trace of a human skull in the flesh of a rotting peach, plastic dollar-store toy insects hovering in the darkness, and more. 

Aslizadeh’s recent solo exhibitions include “Phantom Smile” at Simon Fraser University Gallery, curated by Bill Jeffries (catalogue produced) Vancouver, Canada, “Hero of Our Time” at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Montreal, Canada.  Her video installation and photographs were part of a group exhibition “Waiting For” at Centre A, Vancouver, Canada (January 14 – February 25, 2012).  “Hero of Our Time” one of Aslizadeh’s major video installations has been included in a travelling exhibition “Diabolique” along with the works of artists Jake & Dinos Chapman, Dana Claxton, Douglas Coupland, Jeremy Deller, William Kentridge, Shirin Neshat (since 2009 to present).  Aslizadeh’s photographic works were part a curated exhibition “The Stalking of Absence”, at BTAP/ Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2010).

The artist acknowledges the support of British Columbia Arts Council  

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