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Rosha Yaghmai at Commonwealth & Council
At Commonwealth & Council in Koreatown, seashells span the walls of the first gallery. Each one unique, they are the type of conch that you might hold to your ear to hear the ocean, and viewing them, one imagines this kind of auditory sensation — these shells, however, were fabricated by the artist out of epoxy and painted to mimic the natural seashells. Each one is sourced from a different place in the world, gathered here in a kind of fictional assemblage. This strategy is also used in the exhibition’s opus, a 240-inch wall piece made of black urethane on which the artist has made oil pastel rubbings of various flowers from around the world. The effect is a fictionalized super bloom and one that reflects the viewer’s body due to the urethane’s mirror-like surface. Hailing from Iran but born in the US as a first-generation Californian, Rosha Yaghmai muses on cultural influences that often feel at arm’s length. The artist describes how this experience creates a kind of perceptual fissure, mimicked throughout the exhibition via fictional landscapes that Yaghmai inserts the viewer into, allowing us to engage in our own perceptually disruptive visions.
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Photo: Rosha Yaghmai, Phantom Lands (installation view) (2023). Image Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth & Council.