- Patterns & Paradigms

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.
Jacques Prevert


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 …

AmirHossein Bayani
October 2011