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Seeing Through 'Transplant Eyes' at Walker’s Point Arts Center

Jun. 27, 2017
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From esoteric photographs to the suggestions of body parts, a powerful mix of images and reference points are part of the exhibition “Transplant Eyes” at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. They come in the form of the body crouched, or a man standing, or mechanisms of mouths conjoined. They all speak to the human experience with psychological and emotional relevance.

Nine artists, curated by Katayoun Amjadi and John Schuerman, address what is described as liminal space, living between cultures and the differences of geography. The experiences of the artists are narrated through their art and personal stories. They come from different countries, arriving in the U.S. at different stages in life, and their impetus deal with being inside a culture as well as being outside. Given the current discussions taking place regarding immigration, it is well worth taking note.

Yevgeniya Kaganovich displays sculptures in polymer, molded into forms like masks. She devises these so they are joined mouth to mouth by a single hose. We are all connected, indeed. Her artist notes describe that her work is about the “complexities of social interactions conditioned by the corporeal body and these explore the absurdity of our attempts to express, perceive, and understand.” In this sense, the deeply intimate notions of her work are especially resonant.

Nina Ghanbarzadeh amplifies this through the identifier of language in her My Fingerprint. It is a large collage of a fingerprint articulated by strands of newsprint and handwritten text. Ghanbarzadeh is from Iran and states, “Even though I think in Farsi I mostly speak in English (that is outside of my house).” She often uses text in her art, incorporating elegant Farsi script in abstract designs. In this piece, her fingerprint is presented on a black background with text from newspapers, often about humanitarian interests of peace and remembrance. Some of the newsprint is covered by whiteout and replaced by elegant script, alluding to the impasse that may occur with disparate languages.

In this age of contention, “Transplant Eyes” serves as a reminder of a shared humanity that transcends race and language.

Through July 8 at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 839 S. Fifth St.

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