Strange Fruit, Dorsa Asadi’s Solo Show
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Strange Fruit is Dorsa Asadi‘s solo show displaying the series of her phantasmagoric small ceramic art pieces. In these works, the Iranian artist has reflected her experience of living through the recent unrest in Iran and its aftermath. Weaving her narrative, the artist also focuses on generational rebellion against patriarchy and capitalism: aided by religion, they work in tandem to control women’s bodies as they control nature. The Strange Fruit show is being staged at Green Art Gallery and will be open to the public until 29 July 2023.

Drawing from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the series on view consists of three sections: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. The main protagonists of the artworks are Elle and Belle, the twins who represent Gen Z and who have recurred in Asadi’s previous art pieces.

Dorsa Asadi, I wish I knew how it would feel to be free, 2023. Ceramics. 19 x 20 x 27 cm.

The sanguine palette of the Inferno chapter symbolises the flames of Mahsa Amini protests in Iran which broke out last September. Pools of water that can be also seen here serve as a reference to the ongoing droughts and farmer protests in Iran. The sculptures from this chapter convey the sense of anger, and it is not just people who are angry, but the Earth itself too. The works featured in the second chapter, Purgatory, are characterised by mute colours. Here, figures sink into the soil and the water and become part of the landscape, reminding us of those still under the soil from the days of the Iranian Revolution. In Asadi’s Paradise, human beings merge with plants taking root and supporting each other: they peacefully coexist in the pastel coloured Garden of Eden, which is free from taboo and societal norms.

About the artist

Dorsa Asadi (b. 1992, Iran) is a multimedia artist who resides in Tehran, the city where she was born. Her art practice involves sculpting, painting, drawing, installations, and embroidery. She received her degrees from the University of Tehran: a BA in Handicrafts in 2014 and a MA in Painting in 2018. Asadi took part in Vayu Art and Mind Residency (Kashan, Iran, 2022) and Kalekent Ceramic Workshop Residence (Helikon Art Center, Turkey, 2019). In 2020, she was awarded Mohsen Gallery annual Prize (Tehran, Iran).

Dorsa Asadi, Well-rooted plane tree, 2023. Ceramics. 42 x 19 x 25 cm.

Asadi’s art is rooted in mythology, psychology, and structuralism. She explores myths from different parts of the world and uses their frequent motives (for example, the duality and superpowers of twins, fertility, sacrifice, etc.) and structures to create a new composition or point of view. Incorporating the aesthetics of colourful Iranian paintings and tiles into her work, Asadi addresses such themes as gender, identity, and environmental issues.

The artist has displayed her works in such exhibitions and art events as Art Dubai (2022); Balneum Mariae (Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran, 2022); Elle and Belle: a Tale with No Rise and Fall (Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, 2019); Contemporary ceramics group show at Vista Art Gallery (Tehran, 2021); SORATAN (Homa Art Gallery, Tehran, 2019); Art for Peace Festival (Pardis Mellat Gallery, Tehran, 2018); Painting show at Laleh Art Gallery (Tehran, 2017); and others.

To learn more about Strange Fruit, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting The Storyteller at Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai.