The Points of Departure

Kellie Bowen, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 22, the Linfield Gallery opened a new exhibit called “The Points of Departure” by Eugene-based artist Tannaz Farsi. This exhibit provides an interesting variety of photography, installation, sculpture and gardening.

I was unfortunately unable to attend Farsi’s artist talk, but the gallery-goers filled me in. There was a large group that came to see this gallery. All were eager to see and learn about the artist’s work that depicted different moments of Iranian’s history in visual culture.

The first thing one will see when walking into the gallery is a group of 1,000 tulips planted in clear, plastic bags. The tulip is a strong symbol in Iranian culture, representing martyrdom, renewal and opposition. This is the only thing in the exhibit that will change during the duration of the exhibit. The flowers will grow, bloom and wither.

The live and almost “performance” of this piece is a wonderful little twist and dynamic in comparison to the other more traditional pieces.

The metal structure on the ground is made up of three different levels, each level a different color: orange on the bottom, white as middle, and the highest level is red. This structure was based on a star pattern found in a 15th century drawing in The Topkapi Scroll, which originated from Iran. The juxtaposition of a drawing into a metal color-coded structure makes for an intelligent and elegant piece.

A long section of names written in what looks like gold studs is a collection of women who inspire Farsi from Iranian history and present day. According to the exhibition notes, the font is “influenced by stacking square form that was introduced in the 10th century as a system of measurement in Arabic calligraphy.”

The two photographs seen on the exhibit notes are the only things not mentioned or explained. In a strange way, the photo of someone holding two rocks and the photo of a rock with a black nighty stretched on the side of the photo add the perfect touch to this exhibit.

I can’t quite put my finger on why or how these drastically different pieces all work in the same space. Perhaps once the Iranian theme and mindset is mentioned, a viewer can go in and see how each piece has a little bit of Iranian culture in it, and that alone is enough to bring it all together.