Saturday, October 07, 2006

Desire No Shackles

Diane Carriere, our artist/blogger friend in Canada, and fellow artists are presenting a new show in Chicago at the d'Last Studios and Gallery at 1714 S Ashland, Chicago, Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2006. The show, entitled "Desire No Shackels", features the work of Amir Normandi, Maryam Hashemi, Marcia Middleton Kaplan, Tim Arroyo, Rosy Torres, and Diane.

Diane has focused her work in the last few years on the conflict between the forces of fascism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the strong desires for Freedom and Liberty. Of particular interest has been the plight of women and children, the bringers of life and the most vulnerable.

The current show has been planned for many months, but recent censorship events have placed an additional importance on the work of the assembled artists. As Diane has written:

Even in the Age of Information, it would seem that not all information is created equal: the closure of a successful 3-year-old production of Mozart's opera 'Idomeneo' because, said Berlin police, it posed 'incalculable risk' of inciting Islamic fundamentalists to violence is a stark reminder that censorship throbs with power while the lifeblood of art is wrung dry. Last year, outrage from Muslim students led Harper College, located just outside Chicago, to remove an exhibition of works by Amir Normandi depicting the oppression women suffer in many Islamic countries. Partly in response, Normandi, himself an Iranian-born Muslim, has curated a new exhibition of works by local and international artists, 'Desire No Shackles/ Imagine No Borders', to examine oppression and the notion of borders in Islam and other contexts.
The work of Amir Normandi, an Iranian, is often none too subtle. The images are forthright and unapologetically confrontational. One cannot ignore the crossing of boundaries as in "Women's Rights by the Book". The woman holds a book, presumably the Qur'an. The holy book of Islam gives permission to men to break the barrier of human decency by beating their wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers, treating them as meer objects. The woman in the image crosses the boundary between being the object on display and being a real human being by reaching out through the picture frame.



In another, we are shown what lies beneath the all concealing black shroud of the burqa that holds women in a portable prison. The same rigid religious ideas that keep women in thrall to the will of men also envelopes the entire state of Iran, Islam, and all who submit their freewill to the god, al'Lah. No matter what is used to hide, shield, cover, or mystify our outter selves cannot even begin to shackle what is inside, the glory that is our 'self'.







In "Rose", Tim Arroyo demonstrates the ephemeral quality of reality and life. He has created a beautiful red rose in a vase using smoke and digital photography. The image slowly wafts into oblivion as all matter must, reabsorbed into the greater connectivity of the cosmos.




Diane presents a stark fact of life of life under fascist Islam. The execution of women is a common occurrance in Iran. Tradgically, it is too often the only way a woman can escape the prison of the burqa and the shackles of Islam as depicted here in another masterwork. Seemly two women have been hanged - one clothed in a burqa with eyes blindfolded, the other naked with eyes closed, but unblinded. Are they really different women, or the same woman - one a body in death, and the other as the freed spirit. As with all of Diane's work, the layers can be peeled like an onion revealing far more than is evident at first glance.

I would encourge anyone in the Chicago area to stop into d'Last Studios and Gallery, 1714 S. Ashland Avenue, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Phone: 312/922-1400.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

16 comments:

Ahmedinajad said...
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atheling2 said...

Wow! What a great show! I wish they would come to Seattle or Tacoma... actually Tacoma has a new art gallery and it's lovely! I just saw an exhibit of drawings by the French Masters and it was marvelous.

Diane's work is as riveting as it is disturbing...

I hope they get great notices!

Don said...

Diane has been a special friend to all of us for quite some time. Her work is masterful and she deserves all the praise she gets.

The Flomblog said...
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The Flomblog said...

I Just wish she could tour the country with that show - 'speshully Denver

I've always been appalled by the sight of a Muslim family on the street. During the summer, The usual scene is a husband and children dressed in shorts and t-shirts, followed by Mom, in a heavy dark outfit, carrying everything that need be carried.

The most upsetting thing about this is the frequency of the sight.

7:38 AM

Mike's America said...

Well flombog... better buy your own burka now. With the way things are going, it's going to be deemed culturally insenstive for your to display your body in public, especially in a neighborhood where Muslims live.

atheling2 said...

Not if I can help it. It's not going to happen here in the U.S.!

Dhimmitude free zone!

dcat said...

Nice job here Indigo! :)

dcat said...

Mike I would like them to MAKE ME!!!

Indigo Red said...

Just as there was a cultural backlash against the prudish Victorianism of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, I'm going to wager there will be another backlash soon.

Public full Monty nudity in response to the ultra-prude-Islamism will be the next craze to hit the Western world. And for rebellious Muslim girls burqas with "SAUCEY" written across the butt.

The Flomblog said...

Mike - we have this secret weapon - it's called TV. Muslim women will start demanding rights - Then watch out!

Indigo Red said...

A long time ago, in the 1980s, I had Muslim neighbors from Morocco, a husband and wife, no kids. We lived in Long Beach, California. They were nice people and neighbors and we spoke often and once I was invited to dinner. It was a lovely evening.

The wife stayed home and watched television. She soon started asserting her rights as she had learned them from TV and the talk shows that aired in those far off days.

One Saturday noon hour in a beautiful southern California summer, the husband came home wanting lunch and his wife wasn't home. She left a note she was at the Long Beach Mall. He had not given permission for her to be out in public. The husband went straight away to the mall, found his wife in the food court. Without warning and to the horror of the mall patrons, the husband grabbed his wife by the hair and cut off her head.

No one at the time knew what really was going on and thought the husband to be insane. Now we know differently.

atheling2 said...

Good God, Indigo. What a horrific story. And you ate dinner with them... and had a nice time!

Appalling.

Indigo Red said...

That's right, A2. That is what is so damnably frustrating about evil. It's absolute banality. If one was to sit down with OBL absent any knowledge that he is a terror master, I'm positive he would be a delightful host. Most people who had met Hitler in normal social settings were positively impressed by him. These are after all, just normal folk doing evil things. That's why they are so hard to spot and stop.

atheling2 said...

The banality of evil... Hannah Arendt coined that, didn't she, after observing the Nuremberg Trials and noted that so many of the Nazis who carried out atrocities looked like accountants.

Indigo Red said...

I think so. The Banality of Evil is also a book title.