About The Work
In the series entitled Red Zone (2013-2015), Jalal Sepehr focused instead on the sensory perception of concepts such as pain and loss, dramatically frequent feelings for both the Iranian people - still scarred by the aftermaths of the Iran-Iraq war - and for most of the Middle Eastern countries. Here, the artist's gaze moves towards a narrative rhythm explaining the intimate unstable dimension in visual metaphors of those forced to live their daily lives in apprehension, a red zone - not surprisingly the title of the series - where fear and danger are the only travel companions.
In the middle of a desert landscape wider than the eye can see, only the long pathway made up of carpets is familiar, a path which, however, not only does not seem to have a clear destination, but is also repeatedly and menacingly hampered by a huge boulder fallen from the sky, by a violently approaching sandstorm, by a plane taking flight, a path leading to the wrong direction, a direction taking you "back".
As private narratives, attributable to a collective feeling, the photographs of Sepehr preserve fragments of a touching but imperfect mosaic of lives, a mosaic that, piece by piece, seems to crumble under our feet, leaving only a small paradise made of woven to support us.
Metaphor for the transience of human existence, but at the same time important evidence of the ancient past, the carpet collects the multiple forms of Iranian culture. With the use of carpet, as important symbol of prayer but also of rest and conviviality, Sepehr identifies the footprints of history and tradition, aesthetically reinterpreted into an element of reflection that also pulls at strong emotional strings. Like islands of life, scents, colours, like small animated paradises, the carpets are real "memory boxes" for the artist, full of authentic references. They are lexical allegories that illustrate the complex relationship between aesthetic research and historical evidence. On this metaphorical bridge between past and future, the artist projects his own cultural space, a space full of experiences where a fundamental consistent narrative is uncovered in the evolutionary concept of memory. Memory takes on an extraordinarily lexical importance for Sepehr, it represents the impressive initial element, from where his entire creative process is developed.
Founded in Milan in 2009, Officine dell'Immagine is dedicated to exhibiting international emerging and accomplished artists whose works reflect cross-cultural experiences. Today, the gallery works with artists from Europe, America and Asia with a perceivable connection to Africa and the Middle East. Through a rich exhibition schedule, with fine publications and fair participations, the gallery prides itself on making collaboration a principal of its operations, working closely with artists to create insightful, often provocative, total presentations that challenge the conventions of a contemporary art gallery.