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UBS 12 × 12: New Artists/New Work
Armita Raafat

May 2–31, 2009

Inspired by a 17th-century architectural masterpiece of the Safavid Empire, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran, Armita Raafat’s site-specific installation incorporates fragments of muqarnas, an architectural motif comprised of three-dimensional ornamentations arranged in tiers. The work contrasts the mosque’s sense of harmony and perfection by approximating a state of disrepair or ruin. Invoking the pervasive destruction that resulted from the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88), Raafat alludes to the fragility of life in Iran today—from continued conflict in the region to ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States—and reflects on the unshakable desire for survival.

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