Berlin-based Iranian artist Leila Pazooki recently completed a four month residency at Langgeng Art Foundation in Yogyakarta, the result of which is Magical Thoughts, a solo exhibition at Langgeng of new sculptures and installations. Amongst pairings of neon and glass pieces that recall the work of Dan Flavin and Louise Bourgeois respectively is ‘Forest of Memories’, an homage to Javanese decorative arts. Pazooki has collected an array of carved rafters from traditional Javanese homes and re-installed them vertically, like totems (drawing immediate analogies for me with Aboriginal Tiwi poles). This simple reconfiguration highlights the artistry of the objects – now sculptures in their own right. Unfortunately they’ve been further modified by the artist – she’s repainted some, and added new appendages (like carved pineapples) to others. These embellishments are unnecessary, and dilute what could have been both a powerful and sympathetic statement on the disappearance of traditional handiwork from contemporary Javanese homes.
Leila Pazooki, Magical Thoughts, at Langgeng Art Foundation, Jl. Suryodiningratan 37, Yogyakarta, until August 31st.