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Golnar Adili: perhaps all the sky is unable to turn a page

Dec 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

| Free

Exhibition Dates: December 1 – 31, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, December 4, 2016, 7-10PM

Curated by Janna Dyk

Booklyn is pleased to present “perhaps all the sky is unable to turn a page of this tightness of the heart,” an exhibition of prints, collages, and a new artist book by Golnar Adili.

Since 2009, the bulk of Adili’s work deals directly with the extensive personal archive of family letters and documents that she found upon the death of her father, a member of the Iranian intelligentsia who was forced to flee in the wake of the post-1979 revolution. Adili negotiates these textures of her personal history as one might a quilt formed from the clothing of many garments. Glimpses from literature, Persian poetry, and Iranian cultural and political history coexist amidst a palpable emotional subterrain.

“There is so much here that my father clearly knew I would eventually see.”

The exhibition at Booklyn focus on two series formed from this material. One is a selection of large hand-made prints redacted from an impassioned set of letters that Adili’s father wrote to a lover: the writings exist as a repeating set of the Persian vowel “yeh,” which resembles the upcurve of an ocean wave. Assembled in a visually similar shape are a set of epigrammatic collaged drawings that Adili has culled from family photographs of hands. A new artist book arranges these works together into an attentive, notational visual language, contextualized by Adili’s own writing.

Endless gestural repetitions of hands, fingers, and the occasional forearm are mitigated by a constellation of threads of graphite and the patterning formed of aligned images. Adili examines such visual movements as might a scientist studying the habits and patterns of a species. So too the collages nod back to the photographic studies of Eadweard Muybridge. The obsessiveness is devotional: endearing, affectionate. A psychological and physiological portrait study of the father. Through this emergence, it is at once a specific father; her father, and yet one who figuratively approaches an archetype, existing simply as a person whose presence remains only in words and papers, in the memory and investigative imagings of another generation.

In this way the work exudes a resilient universality, bringing with it questions of identity, memory, loss, place, and translation; seeming bedfellows of an unconquerable longing to understand one’s history.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and additionally in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

For more information please contact janna@booklyn.org.

Golnar Adili is currently based in Brooklyn, NY and holds a Master’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. Adili has been an artist in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation for the Arts, Smack Mellon, the MacDowell Colony, Lower East Side Printshop, and Women’s Studio Workshop. She received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Puffin Foundation Grant, and the Urban Artist Initiative grant. Adili’s work has been shown at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA, Cue Art Foundation, International Print Center in NY, Brooklyn Arts Council, the Lower East Side Printshop, and the Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn.


Dec 2, 2016
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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