A present in Duality

 Two person show by Marjan and Maryam Baniasadi at Azad Art Gallery ,Tehran ,Iran. Maryam, who is trained in the miniature tradition that has been revived and revitalized in Pakistan, depicts her contemporary reality through this classical language. The location and geography of the National College of Arts, its architecture rooted in a colonial past, are reimagined as if they are present in a miniature painting. Every single detail is painted and preserved. There is a sense of vitality of the present and optimism of the future, which is alive, bold, and continuously evolving.Marjan, on the other hand, looks at another symbol of the past i.e. the world famous Persian carpet. The object is a symbol of great wealth and tradition. Each carpet is made painstakingly over many months and years and each design is unique. This unique commodity which was perfected in Iran and then inspired other traditions in spaces such as Afghanistan and Pakistan is one of the most well-known symbols of Iran.The carpet is a sign of civilizational achievement. In some way then, the depiction of worn carpet, breaking and edging at the seams by Marjan, is a depiction of the rupture and turbulent modernity we find ourselves within today.

Aziz Sohail 
independent curator, writer

December 2016