One hundred and eighty three

Collage

2010 by Jasmine Golestaneh
Envoy Enterprises, http://www.jasminegolestaneh.com

Golestaneh’s collages are fantastical windows into other worlds, and to truly appreciate their imaginative ability to transport, one almost has to see them collectively. Individually they are striking, absorbing in their compositions, but their impact en masse is where the strength of this collection lies. Though many exhibitions gather effect from multiple works displayed, Golestaneh’s show was particularly poignant because of this, with its wide presentation of so many unimaginable and yet realised worlds. Looking at the works individually, it is more of a curiosity that takes over, rather than an overwhelming feeling of fantasy, as we visually work through these bizarre compositions. In a similar way to Golestaneh’s other collage on postcardwall (176), the potential to manipulate coloured and black & white material is taken advantage of here. The entire composition is made up of black & white cut outs, giving an almost newsprint effect, the only colour appearing in the miraculous rainbow that emerges from the bottom left-hand corner. Yet even this is cut short, stopping abruptly as the two women perch on it; the structure has been cut to fit its purpose, an arch snapped, as Golestaneh selects a fragment to fit her design. It is this freedom, a snapping of a rainbow, an enlarging of a snake, which makes these compositions so original and exciting. We achieve a feeling of release from them, as we share Golestaneh’s open playfulness in her approach. There is something so pleasing in watching these historically dressed women, arms akimbo, gazing at mountainous rocks topped by a gigantic snake. It is the ridiculous travelling to the sublime, a sublimity we can only reach by leaving our tortured world of the ‘everyday’ behind.

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