Lightjet print mounted on dibond
30.5 x 182.9 cm
Courtesy the artist and Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto
Vancouver artist Matilda Aslizadeh investigates image making as both a visual practice and social force, drawing on sources ranging from art history to government archives to YouTube footage. Trophy – an ornate digital collage compiled from found jpegs – marks an encounter between art and archaeology. Ambitiously self-reflexive, this visual anthology of human civilisation references a long history of image-worship that persists in the present day. Indeed, Trophy’s lack of depth and perspective is a dense, image-saturated barricade, a fabulation of our digital and globalised society as a cult of spectacle.
This panoramic work shows a vivid parade of syncretic idols. On close inspection, however, the lavish figures – variously decked in gemstones, sequins and festive light bulbs – reveal a critique of excess and waste. These effigies are not enshrined; they are kitsch, strewn about with equal decadence and dereliction. Named for the tropaion, an ancient Greco-Roman practice of erecting a makeshift monument from fallen enemies’ weapons, Trophy cuts-and-pastes the divinities into Surrealist “exquisite corpses”, forcefully depriving them of their original associations.
Trophy was first shown as a digital projection installation across floor-to-ceiling screens. For this iteration, Aslizadeh maintains the richly allegorical quality of the work in the format of a panoramic landscape.
Multidisciplinary artist Matilda Aslizadeh (b. 1975, Isfahan, Iran) holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Recent solo exhibitions include Resort (2016) at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, ON; Trophy (2015) at Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto, ON; and Phantom Smile (2011) at SFU Gallery, Burnaby, BC. Her video Hero of Our Time (2009) was included in the touring exhibition Diabolique (2009-2010). Other group shows include Edge State (2014) at SKOL Centre des Arts Actuels, Montréal, QC; waiting for (2012) at Centre A, Vancouver, BC; and The Stalking of Absence (2010) at Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Tokyo, Japan. Last year, Aslizadeh’s video In a dark wood… was featured at the Ontario Science Centre.