His Lantern

His Lantern

2006

Afruz Amighi

(Iranian, b. 1974)

Shadow installation; plain weave: polyethylene, hand cut

Overall: 254 x 177.8 cm (100 x 70 in.)

The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2012.15

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Did you know?

The artist stenciled the pattern on the woven polyethelene and cut out the design with a heated knife to sear the edges. When displayed, light from an overhead ceiling projector casts elaborate shadows on the wall.

Description

Born in Iran and raised in New York, Afruz Amighi typically incorporates religious and political symbols in traditional geometric and foliate designs adapted from Islamic art. His Lantern is the first in her series of shadow installations in which she projects light onto a hand-cut stencil sheet of polyethylene, or Pe-Cap, the plastic sheeting often given to refugees. Here, she uses the format of an Iranian prayer rug with a central arch representing the niche, or mihrab, in a mosque as a starting point. A prominent crystal chandelier replaces a mosque lamp with flames rising up to form the name of Allah, stylized into the shape of a tulip. Miniature skeleton keys hang from the chandelier, representing the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

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