Mélika Hashemi, Ma’jooj, digital print on vinyl, 2018.
The #FleeingTheFolio series is a literal approach to "displacement." I insert characters from Persian miniatures into my photographs of Canadian sites, where their presence is reimagined. These characters consequently feel foreign in their new context: an experience lived daily by displaced persons.
The figure in Lèche Vitrine is called "Ma'jooj", who, according to Quranic interpretation, will spread mischief along with "Ya'jooj" on "the end of days"; which is not the same as the "end of time" or the "end of the world" as there is a new beginning following the chaos. Throughout history, people have always blamed others for being the source of chaos in their lives: a never-ending cycle that seems to be more relevant and apparent today. By using the same apocalyptic figure referenced by another contemporary Iranian artist, Morehshin Allahyari, I want to add to the discourse she's already started, and ask viewers, who or what is your chaos?
So why an Islamic apocalyptic figure in the window of Charles Street Terminal? I didn't incorporate her in order to claim the end is near or define chaos for others, rather I wanted to leave the interpretation open and, at the end of the day, she has "fled from the folio" and is "displaced".
About the artist
Melika Hashemi is a Canadian artist working primarily in photography, sculpture, and installation. Her work is informed by her understanding of a culture she has only experienced in hyphenated ways. Hashemi is represented by KAC (Katara Art Center) in Doha, Qatar.
Lèche Vitrine is a collaboration with CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area), made possible with the support of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.