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Golnar Adili: Language Landscape

In celebration of her works on paper exhibition Language Landscape presented at Red Hook's Kentler International Drawing Space October 2016, Golnar Adili discusses the show, memories of her father, being a multidisciplinary artist, and producing work in Farsi for an English-speaking audience with Clocktower during the Second Sundays October 2016 open house at Pioneer Works.

Inspired by Persian poetry and the preserved letters of Adili’s late father, Language Landscape probes issues of identity, distance, loss and reclamation. Adili was born in the United States but raised in her parents’ native Iran. Her father, an outspoken member of the intelligentsia, was forced to leave the country and his young child amidst political unrest. After more than a decade, the two reunited briefly before his death in 2002. In her great loss, Adili inherited an archive of writings that became a rich resource for artistic pursuit.

In these works, Adili isolates, amplifies and repeats written characters to create new associations. She painstakingly dissects her father’s words, identifies variations on a specific letter, and physically rebuilds them in an emotional diagram. Alongside the textual works are renderings of the artist’s body, specifically prints of her chest meticulously altered by cuts and layering. This subtle approach to self-excavation is both raw and removed, prompting the viewer to look closely and respond emotionally.

Occupying Kentler’s entire ground floor, Language Landscape comprises two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and multi-media structural works. The site-specific installation transcends the boundaries of drawing and investigates the role of physical space in feelings of separation and longing.