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Elahe Heidari

The “Still”s

Suspense started from your tables. I sat at your tables; on a chair with slender legs. If I would bring up my hand to invite you to sit, the chair would break. That’s why I was left alone. Solitude is not optional at such times, it is compulsory. At a table that doesn’t bear the presence of more than one person and on a chair that is to break anytime, one can only sit alone. Will another person come? What happens if s/he comes? Will there be some space for her/him? Then what about solitude, suspension, silence and stillness? This is how all moments became one, the glance was frozen, everything came to halt and we became still.

In The” Still”s series, all figures are seated: some mouthless female figures. Figures are women because Elahe Heidari wants them to be women, otherwise, even if they were men, still, their faces would be mouthless. There is nothing to talk about. ”Detach me from my fears, not with words though, as words are the fear itself.”

The faces of the figures are neither beautiful nor ugly. One cannot think of a particular character by looking at the faces: like a table, which is a table in essence before being round or square. Her palette is dark and soft and except in one figure with a red blouse, no tension or stiffness is seen in the bodies.

In one of the paintings, the diptych that is, a woman is sitting alone at a long white table with seemingly unstable legs. The woman has put her hands on the table and stares at somewhere. Suspension is gone and certainty has taken over. Now one can sit alone and stare without expecting anyone or anything.

It seems that in The “Still”s series the painter has achieved a more consistent outlook on the world. The “Still”s could be the continuation of the painter’s vision in her last two series: The Chairs and Around Objects. In the Chairs series it was just chairs with no individuals or tables as if everybody had left the scene. In the Around Objects series, individuals returned to the tables but partially: with their hands, legs and some faceless bodies. In the third part of this trilogy, however, everyone is there, both objects and individuals, all as a whole. It seems that Elahe Heidari has achieved consistency in her body of work. Human presence and challenging the objects is not the matter anymore. We sit next to each other this time and watch the passing of the world.

Azadeh Tahaie

September 2018