A series of my works is a collection called “I R A N”, in which Persian letters symbolise a culture, beliefs, ideas and literature – those beliefs and ideas that manifest themselves in different ways in a society. Beliefs and ideas in societies like my own can have unfortunate consequences. This collection of artworks is based on the thoughts and beliefs that can sometimes lead people to prison and sometimes to death. Ideas are sometimes shouted at and sometimes never spoken!
Words and letters are used in my practice not only for the beauty of the alphabet but also to symbolise thoughts and beliefs, especially prejudiced, unexamined ones. By separating the Persian letters that must be written together to form meaning, I make them look like scraps of different words, sentences and phrases, alluding to the multifaceted but often unfounded and scattered nature of beliefs and faiths.
I started to work on some objects made by alphabet; a bowl full of alphabets, the hanging rope, the golden pistol and the knife made of Persian letters are based on this concept.
The turquoise ceramic pistol from this series, which was exhibited in a curatorial exhibition ‘Contemporary Ceramic Art from the Middle East’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2021, referred to the turbulent political situation of both my country of origin and the wider Middle East, represented through the form of a pistol. This object was part of a series of works I developed in response to the Arab Spring, referencing the ownership of golden weapons by famous dictators in the Arab world, such as Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi. Another installation from this collection is made up of ceramic alphabets, without any specific word, piled up on the floor, all the shouts that are not spoken.
REPÚBLICA ISLÁMICA DE IRÁN
Farnaz Rabieijah Bio and CV april 2023
V&A_About Contemporary Ceramic Art from the Middle East Exhibition
Magic of Persia