Mahmoud Bakhshi

 Compalicated visual similes and metaphors are an inseparable part of visual techniques which Mahmoud Bakhshi cleverly employs in his works; he reproduces the elements of Islamic architecture by Bahman cigarettes analogizes speech to clouds and paints the dirty flags of a city on his canvas in order to represent the air pollution in Tehran and also other things. But this is not the whole story; things that bring novelty to these images are other multi-layered shades which every single component of his similes and metaphors carry with itself. In the case of the work titled "sunset", this openness of signs and the possibility of different interpretations due to semantic and referential potentials of visual features employed by the artist, reach their climax: hollow pipes that resemble organs of a church bearing the voices of 30 parts of Quran; with this set, is Mahmoud Bakhshi trying to recount the familiar local narrative in catechesis of his school times according to which the origin of all religions was one, or no, more than that, with these pipes the artist, consciously or unconsciously, is also alluding to his other work which he has made from Bahman cigarettes? Doesn't the title "sunset," along with this "sublime" solemnity and the bold attendance of Islam and Christianity beside the horrific speakers turning around, all together, in a way recall the Day of Judgment to mind?

Everything conveyed from this novel image to audience's mind tells us about the integration of politics, religion, and eclectic culture of people amongst whom Bakhshi has lived.


Alireza Labeshka - March 2015