Unbound يا يك خوان از هفت خوان اسفنديار
January 12, 2024 – February 24, 2024
Unbound يا يك خوان از هفت خوان اسفنديار, Reyhan Yazdani’s first solo show in Toronto, considers the displacement of objects and people, legacies of dispossession and the generational, geographical and terrestrial experiences of loss and yearning. Through creative processes of transformation, reorientation, fragmentation, replication and modification, her practice engages with objects and narratives that offer an alternative lens to knowledge production, distancing from colonial and imperial practices of ownership, categorization and extractions.
In this body of work, Yazdani engages with an online archive of folios from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi (Iranian, Paj ca. 940/41–1020 Tus) in possession of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This manuscript, created in Tabriz, Iran, dates back to 1530 and has been migrated and exchanged between more than ten ownerships as a gift. In interacting with these uprooted materials, Yazdani prompts questions such as: What happens to landscapes and geographies that have been excavated of their generational and cultural heritage? What do displaced bodies – of objects and people – have in common, and what does their interaction look like in diaspora? Who gets to be preserved and cared for and who is left behind?
Yazdani is curious about the generative space of recalibration. Her work aims to articulate the stretching of time and space that shapes displacement as an embodied experience of simultaneity, ambiguity and wonder while mediating between the historical and contemporary.
Reyhan Yazdani (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer currently based in Vancouver, the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) people. Her research-driven work migrates between a range of media including works on paper, objects, social invitations, and poetry to engage with ontological, material and spatial inquiries around and about themes of exile, language, and diaspora.
Yazdani received a Master of Architecture from the University of Tehran in 2017 and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2019. Over the last two years, her research has been supported and presented by multiple grants, galleries, and publications including the Canada Council for the Arts (2023- 2024), artist-in-residence programs with the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Alberta; Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby; and Access Gallery, Vancouver; exhibitions at Kelowna Art Gallery, Seymour Art Gallery, Centre A, and publications such as C Magazine. She currently teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design as an associate professor in the Culture & Community Faculty.
Reyhan Yazdani gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Canada Council for the Arts, with special thanks to Mark Johnsen.