Majid Biglari’s recent site-specific installation, “Regarding the Pain of Others,” is being showcased at Mohsen Gallery’s Pasio until August 30, 2017.
Biglari’s artistic subject-matter encompasses his feelings about capitalism and media culture and how they influence the way we perceive reality; however, the thread that runs through his works is historical narratives of conflict, rupture, and destruction that shapes everyday human experience: where ruins resemble a man-made nature.
His recent work for Mohsen Gallery’s Pasio is comprised of sixty closely packed wooden, burnt, and damaged boxes, arranged in three columns, through which water is slowly running, from up to the Pasio’s floor, spreading the scent of burnt wood. Visitors first encounter this work and see it from behind. Crossing a narrow passage, they face a Plexiglas sheet, placed in the front of the boxes that separates the audience from the installation. Biglari purposefully selects wooden objects for their powerful, evocative potentials to call to mind the forms of ruins. While the individual pieces had an intimate scale, they became monumental when considered holistically within the combined environment of the assemblage. Although he is known for creating wooden structures, he also explores materials like Plexiglas, glass, and water in this installation. These new materials allow him to expand the scale and complexity of his monumental artistic representation, while catalyzing the natural processes of erosion and destruction during the show.
Reality is a very fluid concept, perceived differently by each one of us. Media culture’s normalization of catastrophes, war, mass murder, terror, extensive destruction of cities, natural disasters, etc., mitigate the intensity of awareness, putting a gap between reality and truth. Moreover, Biglari’s work highlights the role of museums as mirrors of power and how giving form to authentic versions of narratives helps museums institutionalize and validate certain interpretation of events as public memory.