KEWENIG 12 Rooms, Berlin
Reza Farkhondeh is an American-Iranian artist living and working in New York City and Paris. He is known for his widespread artistic practice ranging from videos and short films to drawings and paintings. Farkhondeh’s early oil painting consist of series of “99-cents, Made-in China” plastic objects, mostly toys such as glittering cars, airplanes and boats, soldiers and guns, wildlife and forests. These paintings of an average scale in human height cover the most iconic images of the Western popular culture and as these objects were initially designed and produced in Western countries, Farkhondeh questions the notion of originality of products and culture in the era of globalization. Since 2001, using different materials like fabric, masking tape, glue and gel, acrylic and watercolor, Farkhondeh has been working on the subject of broken and repaired landscapes, including interior ones that the artist seeks to save and mend. Farkhondeh as well works with texts that examine the evolution of our social, political and cultural societies.
American artist Ghada Amer (born 1963 in Egypt, lives and works in New York City and Paris) has made a name for herself with multilayered embroidered depictions of female sexuality on canvas. Closely linked to an aesthetic language reminiscent of specific crafts traditionally associated to women, her works question established power structures and gender stereotypes. Using the images of self-confident, tantalizing, self-gratifying women in postures and positions suggested by the porn industry, Amer questions the boundaries between nudity and pornography and opposes institutionalized sexism.
Farkhondeh and Amer met in 1988 during their studies at Villa Arson Art School in France; however, it is only since 2001 that the duo have started collaborating on varied series of drawings, paintings, prints, performance and video art, covering the individual concern, vision and personal approach of each one in the practice of making art. Signing their collaborative works together, they prove that making art is not about gender, power, or fame but as well about welcoming the status of combined authorship, which according to both, Amer and Farkhondeh, is a creative source and an inspiring open window to making art. In doing so, their collaborative works on paper evolve organically, hence enriching each other’s visual vocabulary. These collaborative works often question the status of women in western society and art history.
A comprehensive selection of their collaborative drawings, made since the early 2000s, were recently presented at the Dakar Biennale of 2018. During their residency at Cerámica Suro in Mexico, in the summer of 2018 and continuing in the winter of 2019, Amer and Farkhondeh are expanding their collaboration to the field of ceramics.