Open Sesame Project Window 2017 - 18

Lèche Vitrine

Mélika Hashemi: Ma'jooj

Location: Open Sesame, 220 King Street West, Kitchener, ON (King Street windows)

A reception for the artist will take place at Open Sesame on Friday, September 7, at 6 PM. All are welcome.

Installation on view through October 2018


Artist Statement:

#FleeingTheFolio was born out of a desire to present the feeling of "displacement" that many experience on different levels (emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally). I chose to incorporate Persian Miniatures from various manuscripts (i.e. Wonders of Creation and Oddities of What Exists) into my own photographs to convey 'displacement' in a more literal way. In doing so, I aim to raise questions surrounding identity and belonging (by titling most images inconsistent with the miniatures' titles in manuscripts, for example). 

MH Serpent web_0.jpg MH Fritz web.png MH parcour web.jpg

Images from #FleeingTheFolio series courtesy of the artist.

ma'jooj web.pngThe manuscript folio I sourced for the figure in Lèche Vitrine is called "Ma'jooj," who, according to Quranic interpretation, will spread mischief along with "Ya'jooj" on "the end of days" [side note: The "end of days" is not the same as the "end of time" or the "end of the world" — there is a new beginning following the chaos]. Throughout history, someone has always blamed another for being their chaos: a never-ending trend that seems to be more relevant and apparent today. By using the same apocalyptic figure referenced by another contemporary Iranian artist, Morehshin Allahyari, I want to add to the discourse she's already started, and ask my viewers: Who/what is your chaos?

So why an Islamic apocalyptic figure in the window of the Charles Street Terminal? I didn't incorporate her in order to claim the end is near or define chaos for others, but rather I wanted to leave the interpretation open and, at the end of the day, she has "fled from the folio" and is "displaced."

—Mélika Hashemi


About the artist:

Melika Portrait.jpgMélika Hashemi is a Canadian artist working primarily in photography, sculpture, and installation. Her work is informed by her understanding of a culture she has only experienced in hyphenated ways. Hashemi is represented by KAC (Katara Art Center) in Doha, Qatar.

Lèche Vitrine is a collaboration with CAFKA - Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area, and made possible with the support of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Vinyl printing and installation by Toronto Glass Film

Image: Mélika Hashemi, Ma’jooj, digital collage, 2018.

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