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Parastou Forouhar, from the series Schriftraum (Written Room), 2011 *

"The Persian script is turned into an ornament. Covering the white walls of the museums, the characters serve Forouhar as ‘paper’ for her own text. The room becomes a ‘writing room’. Whereas the white walls of the gallery room are raised to a universal norm and an unmarked instance, the Oriental ornament stands for difference or the deviating. The writing is also strange, if not alien, because it is illegible for Western visitors – as an “incomprehensible” text it becomes a pure ornament. In defying attempts by Western visitors to assign it meaning, the script remains locked into its irreducible pictorial graphicness and indissoluble representation… Even if one has a command of Persian, the characters prove to be nothing more than word fragments and syllables, which are not subject to a linear order. The script ornamentation covers the whole room – the ceiling, the floor, and the walls. Viewers entering the rooms are surrounded by patterns, forcing them to give up their sovereign, distanced standpoint."— Alexandra Karentzos, from "The Location of Art"

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    Parastou Forouhar Schriftraum (Written Room), 2011
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    Written Room, 2011 - Stadtgalerie, Saarbruecken by the Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar
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