Probably more than anything else, Peyman Shafieezadeh’s drawings on the cutting patterns of the Burda fashion Magazine, recalls me of the importance of the negative space surrounding me. The negative space around me; the space in which I do not exist but the rest of the world does. Definitely, it has more important things inside: the Dark Energy, Aura, the invisible spectrum of waves, table, chair, tree, building, mountain, computer and anything other than my somatic.
In these works, the negative space is so important that although being a two dimensional cutting pattern of Burda Magazine, it has surrounded the objects and subjects like a three dimensional space and emphasizes on its existence.
Sometimes it seems like objects are sunk in a dynamic, living space having vibrating and moving red and green lines and it makes the negative space, and consequently the drawing, have such variability as if each time I’m looking at a new image.
For a majority of our society,copying or following a role model has become a rule of life. Some believe that such copying results from a lack of fine taste or choosing a safer route for life.
Done for whatever reason, the main criterion for such copying is a correct and authentic observation of rules of the original chosen model. When these rules are observed, the copy of our personal role model becomes closer to the original one. Ufortunately, in such copying, the choice of model is aimed at the recognition among acquaitances and those whose judgements have a value in society for the copier pleasing his ego.
Unfortunately one can say with confidence that most copiers are concerned with the appearance of their chosen model and adding their personal character, creating a new synthesis which is not only equivalent with the original but very unfit too. That is why those who are only caught in narrow-mindedness and manipulating their role models and do not come close to the original thinking of their role model for which s/he in distinguished, are easily discerned.
Through his use of the best example of a “model”( dress making patterns), Peyman Shafieezadeh tries to convey such copying in a general symbolic way. The use of these patterns as the basis of these artworks and the real or imaginary figures drawn on them, attracts our attention and makes us ponder and question ourselves: we are copying, not only in our appearance but also unconsciously and in our behaviours and lifestyle.
Such copying is usually done of most prominent global figures, yet, there are also people who copy their close or far relatives. The question of whether we do it correctly is what Peyman Shafieezadeh asks the viewer with his works.
The deliacy and attention particular to this young artist expresses, through his drawings ( figures without the pupil of eye), the aformentioned point bringing under question both the original and the copier and asking whether we have chosen our role model consciously and with prior knowledge? Are we familiar with dimentions of our role model’s thought? In fact this artist’s main question of his audience is: how good do we know ourselves and our ideal model? The creation of such exact and smart artworks by Peyman Shafieezadeh, forces the viewer to respond and refect in the presence of her/his human conscience: a question that one day, we will have to honestly answer to ourselves and the society.
In what called philosophy of art, usually one of these two is lost: philosophy or art.
Quoted from Friedrich Schlegel
In the book Truth & Beauty:
Lectures on the Philosophy of Art, Babak Ahmadi,
Tehran, Nashr-e Markaz Publishing Co., first edition 1996.
When I write not to read this text because it is a text for nothing, I am neither exaggerating nor being deceitfully modest.
Certainly you have seen Peyman Shafieizade’s works before. This text has also been written in relation to his works; so do not read it, because if you still feel astonished by what you have seen, this text will not reduce your astonishment, and if you have any other feelings, you will find this text beyond your comprehension, because it neither add anything to the depth of the works nor reveals any secret hidden within these dazzling ambiguous works.
It is a pity that Peyman has asked me to write something about his paintings, because it is the first time that during writing something —- no matter what its title is —- I have believed in genuineness of images world which doesn’t need to be reduced to the world of words and language; but it is inevitable for me to reduce my unique pleasure of visually understanding his works by putting it in a row of words and phrases coming one by one with such a difficulty.
Undoubtedly, Peyman has come to this point after his previous paintings, after a journey in the worlds of time and image, and his folded works show how he has trekked ups and downs. His Odyssey-like searching in the world of legendary models he has painted, along with a unique trick of folding the painting papers, resembles a book of travels to the world of “Wondrous Beings”: human beings with more than one head, woman-shaped men and man-shaped women, an athlete with fender and tire… But, being faithful to the legends, he has portrayed their figures completely, though detached patchily, like the stings that can be seen attached to each other only by being looked inclinedly. And it is through this kind of looking that Shafieizade shows his profound look to the world of legendary models, and also audiences’ minds. These detached but precise and well-ordered distances are that give a chance to the foldings to come up from the lower levels and show that to what extent the content of these legends stems from the complicated or sometimes superficial eclecticism of the concepts reconstructing the contemporary culture.
In his interesting reading of the concept “folding” in Foucault’s story about the ship carrying insane people, Delouse shows that the folded waves of the sea coming up and down represent the abandoned insane people some time as the people imprisoned by the wisdom which has sent them off to such a journey without any destination, and some other time as the hopeful travelers fighting against death onto the see. By proposing the theory “folding”, Delouse discusses the possibility, or the quality, of creation of inhuman forms of subjectivity. By proposing this theory, he wants to have a critical reading out of some concepts like “presence” and “being”, “surface” and “depth”, or “being inside” and “being outside” to show that how each of these concepts reflects the other through a folding. Delouse’s conception of “folding” equals revealing interaction of tradition and memory and time in a complicated struggle leading to construction of subjectivity. In fact, from the viewpoint of Delouse’s “folding”, the subjectivity can be known as a spatial spectrum including different points of these foldings topographies, and this situation is astonishingly clear in Peyman’s works: in directions of those cuttings, in the ground of lines and borders, or along the vector of the legendary models drawn in his works, one can see the folding of history and language and tradition as overlapped and reconstructing levels of contemporary subjectivity.
A folded paper can easily bear a burden ten times a plain paper, and this is how the interwoven legends of the present world dominate the culture in the public sphere strongly and resistantly —– through overlapping Darius and Imam Hossein, the automobile Pride and Che Guevara, or a general and a pigeon-fancier. The resistance of these legends, stemmed from their all-out presence, comes from their simultaneous company, and in the meantime it is only looking inclinedly that guides the look to the nature of this institution of dominate. “inclinedly” does not mean that we do not look directly because the image before us is a blemished one; it means that we look from a direction by which the consistency of the legend, through fragile ups-and-downs like the edge of a paper which in spite of being invisible is cutting, is revealed.
The way Peyman has followed from his previous collection “Burda” has converted now to a pattern that reflects the overlapping of the models and in the meantime “folding” is his epistemological look to these “legendary models”; it is not only a visual trick to make the two overlapped pictures seem three dimensional.
Having said that, he has borrowed the concept “folding” from the inner logic of his works, neither from Delouse or Leibniz nor from anybody else. He has borrowed it from a simple sign on a paper pattern in Burda Magazine which guides you where to cut and fold the material to make clothes, such clothes Peyman makes me, you and legends wear.
And the last point is that how his works are similar to Chinese fans, aren’t they?
Homayun Askari Sirizi
Struck one by one —- three matches at midnight
The first one to see your full face
The second one to see your eyes
The last one to see your mouth
And the absolute darkness to remember them altogether
While warmly I’m taking you in my arms.
I could not start writing this text without quoting a romantic poem at the beginning!
This simply clarifies that Peyman Shafieizade’s works have three aspects that should be seen by three matches and finally should be remembered altogether.
Usually, we remember Peyman’s works by the sewing paper patterns used by him, and this is possibly not completely wrong, because in this collection we still see the paper patterns used by him. But, without wanting to criticize the previous collection, I emphasize that this time the artist’s approach to the patterns has changed and undoubtedly he has got a unique depth of content. In this collection, Peyman reaches for the world of paradigms and bases his relationship with the world of artwork on explaining his position on the situation of paradigms.
On this account, using the patterns does not have only aesthetic aspects, but it also makes a content which has a dialogue with the formalistic logic of the works and forms the meaning of the works. It seems that these paper patterns are the formalistic-symbolic aspects of the artist’s intended paradigm.
His symbolic using of the legends which form the common discourse in the public sphere reveals the caustic atmosphere of his works, and many a large group of people in the society who unconsciously reproduce constantly an important part of their being through identification with those very legends!
Therefore, the artist, as an impartial observer, finds himself in a situation in which the present paradigm equals constantly producing and reproducing a pseudo-legendary discourse which at the same time is totally devoid of any content in the public sphere.
The unique delicacy of Peyman Shafieizade’s works and view lies in the physical dimension he gives to his works so that audiences see three aspects: They see Ali Daei (The contemporary Iranian legendary football player) on the one hand and Takhti (The late Iranian champion wrestler) on the other hand! But when we stand just before the work, we see a blemished image, and then we find that maybe those two aforementioned dimensions are only two sides of one coin, and incidentally the important point is that the artist does not make vulgar moral judgments. In fact, one can come to this conclusion that apparently the duty of the paradigm referred to by Peyman is leveling down all signs just to keep the immature, superficial subjectivity in the public sphere occupied with him.
I believe that the critical view of the artist in his works is a well-founded and well thought-out reaction to this situation by which he employs an aesthetic trick instead of vulgar and superficial expressions and sending word excessively and, as a perfect nihilist, he cuts the pattern papers and pastes them carefully in parallel; however, he knows well that cutting these patterns will not make those paradigms be subsided. And this is the profound nihilism (1) in peyman’s works.
(1) By nihilism, I mean the same meaning used by Nietzsche.
Another interesting point about these works is the artist’s precision in selecting images and the way he puts them together so that a paradoxical quality is made in the works and it leads to a dialectical unity. Here, I would like to use the expression “reconstructive paradoxes”: can a general be also a pigeon fancier? The artist’s answer is simply one word: Yes. After Hossein Alizade (the great contemporary musician and composer)‘s death, there would be as much regretful emails as they had been after the body-builder athlete, Ruhollah Dadashi,’s murder and so on. While, as a rule, there is no general who fancies pigeons, and —- free from any moral or value judgment —– I have to say that the kind of respects showed to Hossein Alizade is different from those showed to the late body-builder. In the picture Martyr & Gunman, this paradoxical situation reaches to its maximum level, so that the artist illustrates two subjective suppositions by making a parallel dichotomous confrontation: A martyr who was once a gunman and a gunman who will probably be martyred one day, on the one hand, and a soldier who is our dear martyr now and a gunman who seems to be our enemy, on the other hand!
And in the end, in this paradoxical situation, this is the subjectivity of the audience that decides which is preferred —— the blemished image before him, our dear martyr’s image, or the image of the gunman who is our enemy …