Sayeh Sarfaraz
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Mémoire d'éléphant, 2012

14 November 2012 - 8 December 2012
antoine ertaskiran gallery

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The title of the exhibition, mémoire d’éléphant (memory of an elephant), is a direct reference to the collective memory of the people scarred by violence and dictatorships. each work is a testament, a witness to the political upheaval. The accumulation of small objects, the repeated use of Persian writing, the miniaturization of everyday life, echoing ancestral persian traditions; for Sayeh Sarfaraz they are all ways of interpreting the oppression and suffering endured by the people of that region. even if the family home seems to be a safe haven, the outside world remains increasingly dangerous.

By subverting children’s games – an electric train running in reverse, doll house doors leading to a prison, paper garlands composed of guns and soldiers, lego figurines and marshmallows instead of barbed wire – the artist uses a child’s dream world to present a sad and harsh reality that remains universal and recognizable. The horror in question is so unspeakable and overwhelming, the miniaturization and aesthetic license employed by Sarfaraz are meant to make the exhibition palatable.
Between dream and nightmare, game and reality, voyeurism and surveillance, the traces are mangled. the viewer, who must either kneel or peek to discern the dramatic, still scenes, is also being observed, becoming a new player in this collective, who must now, in turn, transmit and testify.




  Photographer: Rodrigo Perez Lozada

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