Artist talk: April 3 12-1pm March 18 - May 1 2022 pressed like a breath collapsing into a sigh presents a collection of work by Chicago-based artists Farnaz Khosh-Sirat and Hope Wang, who look to their built environments as spatial productions of memory, power, and desire. Drawing on constructed nostalgia to navigate the dissonance between loss and belonging, both artists employ architectural patterns to evoke intimate realities of place.
By referencing hyper-specific architectural imagery and reconfiguring fragments of it, Khosh-Sirat and Wang produce “false” copies and traces of everyday life. These palimpsests take postures of longing that are not just decorative, but also serve primary functions as coded languages of their own. Khosh-Sirat utilises girih, geometric patterns in Persian textiles and architecture, in her atmospheric sculptural installations. In an act devoted to mimicry that also reflects a desire for material to appear as something other than itself, Wang reproduces patterns from common construction materials into playful new forms. While Khosh-Sirat captures the stylized patterns of prayer rugs and meditates on the spiritual essence of space, Wang contends with the sloppy traces of human activity around industrial sites. By manipulating material to create ghostings of such contexts, Khosh-Sirat and Wang celebrate the essential qualities of their built environment that is simultaneously casual and critical.
Both artists share a wonder for human presence within space, as well as how people record and recall memories. Khosh-Sirat and Wang maintain that these edifices are not legible as something solid, but as layers of a malleable, porous body. One that reflects, transmits, and absorbs the desires of those who exist within it.
documentation by Guanyu Xu