Stifled voices enmeshed in geometric form communicate their truths through poetic symbology, conceptualized by Iranian-born artist Siavash Jaraiedi in his U.S. debut solo show, Dance of Silence. On view at Advocartsy, numerous bronze and mixed-media sculptures, part figurative and part abstract, serve as weighted monuments to existence.
Dance of Silence
The exhibit is steeped in meaning, from the very concept of the works themselves, to Advocartsy’s primary objective, which is to elevate the diaspora of Iranian artists. Adding to the many layers is the fact that all 18 sculptures are based on a long form poem Jaraiedi wrote, also called “Dance of Silence,” which explore the relationship of law and life, with each piece in the show representing a specific section. As an interactive element, this poem can only be accessed by acquiring a secret scan code from the gallery.
In addition, all works containing the human face are directly referenced from Iranian individuals who responded to the artist’s call for interviews on Instagram. By learning more about the subject’s struggles and triumphs, he was able to harness their spirit within these representations. As an expression of both vulnerability and resilience, Tenderness shows a sole head that is transfixed straight through the middle and suspended by a pyramidic spear. Somber connotations aside, the piece does possess an uplifting quality: The face is positioned upwards towards the sky, peering stoically at the pyramid’s tip, which is enveloped by a pair of abstract bird wings.
Overcoming contradictions while exuding balance and equilibrium is a sentiment that resonates throughout the series, with the compelling title piece Dance of Silence serving as another example. Here we see a half-emancipated nude bronze figure from the torso up, from a cube shaped base. Although the head is obscured by the lid of this dense turquoise prison, it has miraculously been thrust open so that the arms have exaltingly outstretched themselves towards the heavens. Inscribed upon this, as well as several other sculptures in the show, is Persian calligraphy of specific lines from the themed poem.
Unique, a wall hung mixed-media piece, shows a swarm of faces (222, to be precise), all with their own distinct set of features and colors, comprising an amalgam of blues, greens, greys, purples, reds and yellows. While we may speculate who and where each face might have come from, all such beings seem to simply coexist as a greater organism representing humanity.
Another detail is the fact that all of the eyes in this series are, upon closer inspection, closed mouths, symbolizing the ultimate state of silence, in which one can neither see or speak. With philosophy at the heart of Jaraiedi’s creations, these works depict the human condition at large, our quest for perfection amidst confused spiritual trappings, and the internal, troubled questions that emerge from them. As a formally trained poet, architect, and sculptor, Jaraiedi has woven all his passions into one bold form of expression, with resounding effect.
Cover image: Unique; all images courtesy of Advocartsy, photographed by the author.