In the Fields of Empty Days
I started working at an ad agency that's in a building right across the street from LACMA (Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art). So one fine, and very slow-ass day, I decided to walk over to the museum for my lunch break. I was mainly looking forward to seeing the David Hockney exhibit before it closed. And it was fantastic by the way! I was even going to write about it on this blog post. But what ended up catching my eye more was the, 'In the Fields of Empty Days' exhibition intersecting the modern and present-day Iranian society. I love seeing Middle Eastern art in a modern museum setting. It makes me wonder what I would do if I were to one day explore making something from my Iraqi heritage in a modern context.
One artist who stood out to me was Siamak Filizadeh. The social commentary on these works shows how art and literature helped legitimize the ruling elite. Ancient kings and heroes are used as paradigms of virtue or as objects of mockery, while Shi'ite saints are the savors of the poor and oppressed. The anachronism theme in this contemporary Iranian works shows the appropriation of the past mixed with the metaphors of the present.
'In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art' is now on view at LACMA until September 9, 2018.