I was driven from paradise. Nazanin Pouyandeh
One encounters the paintings of Nazanin Pouyandeh in fits and starts; one discovers them in a cascade of observations. Their strokes are realist enough, and despite the proliferation of details, one can easily project oneself into the image – to such an extent, in fact, that a clear and plausible story effortlessly takes shape before us. And yet this narrative is anything but linear: it contains multiple, overlapping realities which are at once complementary and contradictory.
Pouyandeh’s stories are legion, and she blends them freely. She makes direct reference to the history of art in the form of Masaccio’s Adam and Eve or through images of joyous, drunken bacchanals. At the same time, more subtly – insidiously, even – she names her paintings just as an author might select a title for their novel. In doing so, she gestures towards one kind of story whilst leaving space for others, for the emergence of new lines of thinking.
Ultimately, J’ai été chassée du paradis (I was driven from paradise) is less a call for pious introspection than an acknowledgment of the price that must be paid for liberty, namely the renunciation of the ideal of representation. The contours of a line will never curve as beautifully as a hip, and for an artist to suggest as much would indeed be a refusal of freedom. Nazanin Pouyandeh has found a way to break with such absolute perfection, and now paints beyond all constraint.