Collage art show in the VIP room of Susan Sarandon’s ping-pong club Spin Galactic.
ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
The haunting collages of Jasmine Golestaneh by Kate Bell
Jasmine Golestaneh weaves gaping meta-spaces through her seductive collages. Drawing from the city’s publishing refuse—garden magazines, home décor rags, nature publications, etc—chosen printed relics converge to create an assemblage of uncanny reference. Like an undulating hall of mirrors, her work draws you in with its alluring colors and familiar imagery, but what you encounter is never what you expect.
After being offered the allusion of a complete mystic metanarrative through the obvious aesthetic harmony of Golestaneh’s work, the viewer is startled to realize that it is the contours of his or her own intimate psychology that are in fact on display. Golestaneh choreographs this personal exchange in each of her collages, forming intricate altered states. She requires the viewer to lend his or her own emotional landscape to the work. “The images create a psychic space for people to project their fears, desires, phobias, hopes and dreams,” she says.
In taking images from everyday publications, her pieces at first register as almost palatable in their execution. The pull of the familiar lends an air of easy accessibility to Golestaneh’s collages. She welcomes the viewer to step inside the composition by repurposing and re-contextualizing commonplace imagery that naturally resonates. But this is a destabilized resonance—scales are inverted, exteriors are repurposed as interiors, the nebulous turns concrete.
Golestaneh thus alters the referentiality of the images she pieces together to create her intimate dreamscapes, inviting the viewer to make their own Freudian interpretation. Instead of serving the expected complete narrative, everyone must assemble the discordant pieces of her psychic puzzles by inserting himself or herself into the composition as the ultimate connector.
This play on familiarity pushes Golestaneh’s work beyond a simply aesthetic experience. The collages communicate a sensation or emotion that is a product, but nonetheless not automatically derivative of the individual elements from which they are comprised. Instead, it is the unregistered synthesis of distinct input from the viewer with the innate symbolism projected from Golestaneh’s chosen images that enables this ulterior mode of expression, which is necessarily unique to each participant.
It may stem from Golestaneh’s heritage (she is half Persian, half Latvian) that her images have an underlying exotic allure, but the real command of her work derives from this ability to transcend base meaning. The collages allow for interpolation from sets of residual meanings not apparent at first glance; leaving the viewer only with the product, the sensation, without an awareness of the various systems of meaning that brought him or her to this conclusion. The collages exude an uncanny harmony in this way. They make sense, but to each the process of understanding takes an intimate route in which individual intuition steers the course of comprehension—the reaction is visceral more than calculated. For this exhibition Golestaneh continues with her practice of harvesting images directly from the pages of discarded books and magazines. The compositions are made by hand from cutting and pasting pieces directly one atop of another lending the collages a tangible quality not allowed for by digitized work. You are invited to enter, but at your very own risk.
When Golestaneh is not working on her hypnotic meta-landscapes she writes and performs music with her band Tempers.
Kate Bell is a writer and cultural critic.