Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Laleh Khorramian : Zenith and Nadir

Relationships. Love affairs. sexual encounters. The emotional spectrum that they embody at times can make one feel as if they have reached the Heavens while at other times, its opposite. The highest of heights vs. the lowest of lows. The Zenith by definition is a vertical direction that points away from the force of gravity. Its opposite, Nadir, goes with the force of gravity. Given the meanings of these two words the significance of this opposition gives way to a better understanding of the most recent work of Iranian artist Laleh Khorramian.

Exhibited in New York at Salon 94 Freemans and currently at Third Line Gallery in Dubai I Without End (6:20) is a time lapse animation featuring figures carved from orange peels. As these two figures intertwine, they become life-like. As the piece continues, the figures begin to loose their suppleness, freshness, only to slowly being to dry out and rot. These organic forms undergo a natural cycle of decay.

It is a visual metaphor for the human life cycle. What comes from the earth returns to earth. However, life itself is filled with moments of ecstasy and sublime interaction with man, god, and one's inner self. During the course of the piece, these personifications act out a passionate encounter. As they move through a variety of positions their forms eventually begin to curl inward. With the evolution of time, the once verile bodies become impotent and frigid. The initial intimate ecstasy of their sexual encounter gives way to lost love and pain.

The setting for this romance is rendered sacred. Windows of various sizes and shapes let light into their intimate space.
The light is soft, and dramatic reminiscent of that of renaissance masters. The figures are lit in such way that the details of their skin becomes tantalizing. The shine of the skin becomes visually appealing,sensual and perhaps even erotic. The orange color of the peels and the softness of the the yellowish white blend beautifully, the skin and its inner layer. We are voyeurs to the absurd; sexual tension and arousal between two peels.

I Without End is one in a series of animation pieces that represent the elements; earth, water, space, air and fire. This being fire, the burning desire of human passions.

Images are stills from I Without End. 2008 time lapse animation. 6.20 min.


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