“Evocation” and “Heaven on Earth” are two of the latest visual pieces from emerging powerhouse visual artist Shirin Abedinirad. The paired projects temporarily juxtapose mirrored surfaces to reflect the sky and anything that passes across it, in a rural and urban setting respectively.
The contrasting settings evoke the duality of Abedinirad’s own existence right now. She spends half of her time in her native Iran, and the other half with the United Colors of Benetton’s Fabrica research center in Italy. Abedinirad was previously ‘discovered’ as a model and artist by the United Colors of Benetton F/W International Campaign in 2010.
A third installation, “Narcissus” utilizes a similar desert setting to “Evocation” but directs the mirrors to reflect the earth and horizon instead of the sky. “Narcissus” also utilizes multimedia video to monitor the sand flowing across the surface of the mirrors.
Like many of the installations and pieces of performance art by the young Iranian artist, these installations are intended to confront issues of gender, sexuality, and human compassion.The three titles of the pieces possible form a triad of spiritual concepts of human’s understanding of themselves. The “Narcissus” looks to themselves, the city-goers strolling past “Heaven on Earth” may themselves in others. And “Evocation” urges the mirrors to calls on an unblemished ‘other’ in the sky.
Previous exhibits like Abedinirad’s “1s White and 1s Black” and “Eight Paradises” have also addresses these same concepts, likewise with the reflective, trans-mutative surfaces Abedinirad prerfers. “1s White and 1s Black” utilized bowls of reflective and glowing water to memorialize the tragic events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for a wider exhibit on the subject at the Tehran Peace Museum. “Eight Paradises” explored melting ice forms as the spiritual release of the victims of the Iran-Iraq War that took place between 1980 and 1988. It was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ahwaz, Iran in 2013.