For the exposition Les enfants du sabbat, Creux de l’enfer, Thiers, 2015
“You, the idiots, you see nothing.” The drawings speak to us. More precisely, they speak amongst themselves. Zohre Zarave gives them the power of speech. What are they talking about? “I can no longer sleep. I feel empty. The wind that you are talking about, it goes through me.” The drawings speak, almost like protagonists in a work by Samuel Beckett, which then makes them move. They speak of their solitude. “I’m afraid. I cannot think of it any longer.” How does a drawing think? By becoming an image. The thought of a drawing, it is the image it reveals. “But that doesn’t mean that we’re not there.” By speaking to us, the drawings become a sign of existence. Their images show a body in fragments: a brain, an ear that listens to itself speak, a hole.
“You don’t need to be afraid, you were always like that.” Hence, the drawing cannot become anything else but lines on a surface. Placed on a pedestal, this surface, the paper, becomes an object. The drawing becomes object. Itobjects. “You know, there is not really there.” It thinks. And it’s thought, the image, gives way to a body. An absent body. Zohre Zavare draws recognizable forms. And these forms speak to us, and pose us the question: “What is it that you want to change? What is it that you can change? What can you do?” One must reach out to this paper, support it, turn it over to see it better. The drawing that became a body calls out to the hand. “The hand: the one of man as a monster (Zeichen). “The hand protects, the hand carries. The hands traces signs, it shows, probably because the man is a monster.” The installation by Zohre Zavare forces the drawing to close its eyes. The spectator becomes the subject of its thoughts, and also of the drawn body, the sign, of the monster.
J. Emil Sennewald
*Jacques Derrida, La main de Heidegger (Geschlecht II), 1985, p. 10;
viewed february 25, 2015
The Iranian spirit—well demonstrated by Henry Corbin—is explored throughout and as such structured by a division: division, space or separation, between the obvious appearances and a hidden reality. Between the two terms of this division, the ties are never severed. It is to say that one does not come without the other and that it is precisely in these exterior appearances that progresses and manifests, while at the same time retreating, the secret that mystics, poets and visionary philosophers of Iran, throughout the centuries, have struggled to save and protect. Its here, in this link—a strange place without assignable coordinates, a lost country—that originates all metamorphoses: metamorphosis of an obscure material in light colors, ethereal (in the work of, for example, the Miniature), of a weighty earth in a celestial world, of a heavy and opaque body in another that is subtle, angelic—such a dematerialization that happens when a light coming from elsewhere rises. Why this all too long and laborious detour into the history of spiritual Iran, first Mazdaean then Chiite?
Its that our artist is Iranian, and that she will never, at least according to us, escape from which, in a sense, proves to be her spirit. Is it then to say that for her it is simply about, with neither resumption nor invention on her part, to live according to this old theme—this motif of the uncovered and the hidden—and according to the metamorphoses that it contains? Just the opposite. More or less consciously, all of her effort—this is how we read it, this living effort, that searches for itself, labours and by doing so unifies the works in all their diversity of methods that they summon—goes towards inversing it, turning it on its head, reshuffling it, in order to give it another meaning, to make it say something completely different. Countries change and one must sometimes become another to have the chance to stay one’s self. In this perspective, the work shows itself as a strange mysticism: mysticism in a pejorative sense or mysticism in a backwards sense, manifesting from which, normally, one prefers to turn away.
The metamorphoses take an inverse trajectory. The varnish of appearances flickers and a live flesh, bloody, painful, breaks into the carefully made surfaces, thinking throughout. One discovers an animal character—the embarrassing ascendance—as a badly kept secret and one that roams (a kind of beast in the jungle) at the heart of a reassuring identity, one that is evident, that people have taken for themselves. Faces are becoming hair, fur, organs.
And this space or this distance from the work—without assignable coordinates, without here and without where—makes itself more tenuous, as tenuous as a sheet of paper, as a fragile pencil mark, as the subtlety of a sketch. Beginning with the body, it spreads and radiates to the world itself in its entirety, world in which the storehouse and the uncanny are finally accepted. We understand then that it required our artist to approach the stage and mount this sound installation where things, neither marionettes nor actors, spread a strange dialogue, where the space itself (or the division) mounts on stage and begins to speak. This point of arrival is only, however, provisory and the effort continues, it seems, to search for itself new forms.
A. Morel, July 14, 2014