* The Metamorphosis

Masoumeh Mohtadi, September 11- October 2, 2020

* Installation Views

* Individual Works

* Statement
According to the Dehkhoda dictionary, Metamorphosis (مسخ) means a change in the form or getting worse.
However, the word itself has somehow metamorphosed and now mostly reminds us of Kafka's book. Metamorphosis is one of the most important concepts used by modern writers to designate the fragmented identity of human beings. The main character in their stories usually undergoes a physical or mental metamorphosis as a metaphor to convey the intended meaning to the reader. However, I think that the reader never perceives a text as it has been intended, and a writer can never find the perfect reader, so here I have tried to retell the stories from my own point of view:
• Books that are indecipherable because of the unconventional language of origami and display a transformation in form. Here I put in my selected notes as a reader, in an attempt to create a new text, but sometimes there are no notes which make the task of reading more difficult.
• Books that have been torn apart and woven together anew to create new content by a change in form. Here the form and content get closer gradually, to the point where they become like a carpet design, thus we even lose the few words that were remained in the books, the words that made up the metamorphosed content, and the only thing left is a two-dimensional form.
• A form that enters the third dimension by being woven and placed in a volume to transform the content even further.
• In "When I was a work of art" installation, the words turn into light and parts of the book are presented to the audience, thus the reference to the original text and the movement of its shadow on the wall and its functioning as a work of art leads to the further transformation of the content in the viewer's mind.
• In the "Glasses" installation, we face the metamorphosis and transforming of information in the digital world and unreliable sources that hand out fake stories as first-hand data.
* Press Release
Masoumeh Mohtadi (born. 1983, Isfahan, Iran) has received her BA in painting from the Islamic Azad University of Tehran and MA in painting from Al-Zahra University. In her works, Mohtadi mainly explores linguistic themes and conventional order of things with a conceptual approach. She works in a wide range of mediums, and language and linguistic misunderstandings have always been the main theme of her works. In "Metamorphosis", by using the concept of transformation, Mohtadi shows the distance between the audience's perception and what has been in the author's mind. Metamorphosis means an obvious and more or less sudden change in the form of a phenomenon, and in this exhibition, the mind of the audience is the bedrock of these transformations.
The artist in her first solo exhibition presents different and contradictory narratives using language and different texts as materials. The language is meant to show us clear and definite meanings, but in practice, it can only evoke entangled and undetermined meanings that are hidden behind the words and will not lead us to a clear understanding. Besides, these hidden meanings create different concepts in our minds and connect to other notions, which can cause more confusion. The part that language plays in our perception of the world is very important to Mohtadi. The exhibition "Metamorphosis" shows the hidden meanings in the texts, the uncertainty of the words, and our understanding of the texts as an audience in the form of three installations, ten artists' books, and drawings. The artist challenges the semantic independence of the text and confronts the audience with a lack of determinate meaning. The exhibition consists of five interconnected pieces; the audience in the process of encountering these works will be inclined to look for the connections between them. These works are read together like the chapters of a book.
In these works, Mohtadi, as in the past, takes a critical look at our understanding of different texts and the contradictory information that is so readily available to us nowadays. Awareness and ignorance play a key role in her works, the distorted facts that the artist has put before our eyes are meant to deceive us. There is no sacred text, and Mohtadi in her installation "Estikan" questions the sanctity of the text with a critical eye and refers to the perspective through which human beings view the world. The installation "When I was a work of art" shows us that we ourselves are the obstacle in the way of understanding the text. The exhibition features two categories of artist books, based on stories including "Rhino" by Eugene UNESCO, "blindness" by Jose Saramago, "Heart of a Dog" by Mikhail Bulgakov, and "Cow" by Gholam-Hossein Saedi. The origami artist books deal with the nature of the change that form, text, and our perception go through, and woven artist books conceal the meanings in the created text and form even further. In all of these works the text and content undergo a metamorphosis, the artist reconstructs the narrative in the audience's mind by tearing the text to pieces and put it together again, based on a concept inspired by a book ("Metamorphosis" by Kafka) which is not present in this exhibition. The story is appropriated by the artist and goes through another metamorphosis. The artist removes the content of the text, and create a different and undecipherable meaning out of it. Next to these artist books, we encounter carpet designs that take back the text to its original state, when it has not been woven yet, and it is just a sketch. In "In the beginning was the word" installation, the artist gives a third dimension to the work and further distorts everything to the point that the work becomes an object. Here even if you try to look for a determinate meaning, you will only be confronted with the entanglement of different meanings that will offer a lot of contradictory information, a thing that leads to some sort of confusion.
* Past Exhibitions