Live With Animals Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition of mixed-media artworks on paper by Iranian-born Canadian resident Mirak Jamal. Having to deal with the burden of a 10-year ban, Jamal’s ordeal with Homeland Security has left him stranded with no hope for a return to America; his former country of residence. His show titled “Your Nation, Our Home”, is in this sense proof of the artist’s readiness to establish a symbolic and unprecedented dialogue with his audience from afar.
Jamal was born in Iran immediately following the revolution of 1979. A few countries and hardships later he and his family had taken their ongoing journey to what seemed to be their final destination. They arrived in the United States of America on July 4th, 1994 with hopes for a prospective future. Their long residence there ended with a controversial decision by the U.S. Government that gave the family 30 days to leave the country or face immediate deportation. The case received local and national media coverage. Mirak Jamal had been transfixed by a series of circumstances where fleeing and resettling became a recurring experience.
Through a unique mixed-media exploration, the artist reveals personal glances into a fractured past. He composes a hybrid between the surreal and a graphic composition consisting of flat imagery, geometric shapes, fonts and subliminal iconography with which he summons a distinct poetic visual language. The exhibition offers insight to an autobiographical vision of a repeat-immigrant perplexed by an unresolved identity.
Nationhood, longing, culture and a past that is tenuous at best are concepts inherent within this sociopolitical body of work. Jamal’s recent predicament with the American government blares towards a contemporary relevance to our society. Common threads exist in the imagery as it speaks of a universal struggle that challenges the viewer to grapple with his/her own definition of self-identity. What seems to be purely introspective on the surface, inevitably places his artistic outlook as a Middle-Easterner within the context of a post- 9/11 world filled with complexity.