* Tactile Memories

Bavan x Daniela Mercuri, September 7 – November 11, 2023

* Installation Views

* Individual Works

* Press Release
“Tactile Memories” seeks to immerse the viewer in a realm of touch, movement and synesthesia, as well as the transformative power of our surroundings and their gentle reconfigurations. By delving into the ideas of visibility, motion, action, and chromatic perception and adaptation, this show aims to explore how visual stimuli can trigger a suspension of our awareness of time and space, evoking memories, sensations and phantoms of touch.
The process of remembering touch and the ways in which tactile memories are summoned have a profound impact on our interactions with the world around us. They shape the way we engage with people, spaces, experiences, and the objects within our environment. Our abilities to anticipate our grip or hold, recognize textures and shapes, or envision our presence in a particular place are all influenced by our recollection of touch.
Touch is often associated with movement, temperature changes, subtle disturbances, interventions, and multi-sensory experiences that combine various attributes. It is through these tactile encounters that we are able to gather haptic information and store it within our cognitive abilities and memory. Naturally, certain areas of our body or skin that are more sensitive to touch become hotspots for the recall of haptic stimuli.
The exploration of tactility and how our cognitive abilities and memory preserve these haptic stimuli takes us on a journey through time and memories. It allows us to reconnect with past experiences and sensations, bringing them back to life in the present moment. Exploring such sensations also allows us to transcend these experiences, elevate our haptic senses and enhance our ability to develop novel tactile perceptions.
The works on display present opportunities for such experiences. Each of the artists takes the viewer into a different path, offering synesthetic connections and journeys through the act of seeing. Such journeys have in fact, started with the artists exploring their material and approaches towards realizing their visions —how they have preliminarily imagined their creations has been often shaped with a sensory curiosity, beginning with an excitement of their tactile senses.
As such, the artists’ connections with their image starts with schemata that combine the spatial and material configurations of the elements of their compositions. Within this world, how layers touch recurrently denotes how they are perceived by the viewer, as well as how their entirety holistically awakens memories of tactile nature.
Having lived in a tense sociopolitical context, especially as young Iranian women, by expressing sensory experiences such as tactile responses and recall, the artists often imply notions such as the criminalization of the body and the censoring of its visibility. Tarlan Tabar’s images directly refer to the moment of haptic expression and communication and structure a burst of sensations and memories over that instance. Minoo Yalsohrabi’s paintings and drawings simultaneously chronicle the body’s motions, muscle memories and deliberate actions in the acts of food preparation and painting, subtly involving the viewer’s senses along the way. Elham Pourkhani, through her meticulous execution of technique and detail, as well as the considerable time she dedicates to the act of painting, has created a tactile connection with her pieces, as evident in her detailed compositions and recurring Girih (strapwork) geometric forms. Taba Fajrak’s installation and video, while allegorically chronicling a personal experience, allude to a frozen moment when teardrops initiate touch while flowing down one’s face. Through collaging layers and colors, Maryam Amirvaghefi builds up dimensions over a flat image to depict, enact and stimulate an action: stretching one’s body and piercing through air to express a sudden happiness. Mahsa Tehrani targets the totality of one’s presence within an environment, touching upon the different experiences that together make up the experience of being.
* Past Exhibitions