May 31, 2021–September 6, 2021

Try To Catch The Moon

May 31, 2021–September 6, 2021 | Part of Current Exhibitions

A solo exhibition by Iranian artist Amir Khojasteh

Starts May 31, 2021

Ends September 6, 2021

Venue Carbon 12

Warehouse 37


From whirling, Expressionist sunsets with deep, sombre hues, the light dwindles, and the wandering mind of the astronomer within us is compelled to gaze upon the night sky. Our eyes fall on a luminary of great literary and poetic significance: the moon.

Amir Khojasteh’s solo exhibition, Try To Catch The Moon, implies the impossibility of this physical endeavour, and simultaneously, the triumphant overcoming thereof. Suspended within a twilight zone, with forms that overlay and intertwine, fold and unfurl, his paintings and sculptures tread the line between rest and unrest, peace and chaos.

Khojasteh continuously weighs the scales between two themes to provide a deeper insight into our own human nature. The exhibition details a story of hope and defeat, and juxtaposes them with their counterparts, denial and acceptance.

In his practise, Khojasteh continually weaves and untangles narratives from art history. In oil paintings from 2018, he cited Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing The Alps. The works examined the warped significance Napoleon Bonaparte attached to his perceived image and title, and considered the painting’s exploitation of such factors for propaganda.

The Try To Catch The Moon paintings revolve around two symbols: the moon and the horse. He explores the act of catching the moon as a metaphorical representation for achievement and victory, and the horse as a means for man towards greatness and power. Bold, sweeping brushstrokes dominate the canvases, comparable to the dynamic manner Bonaparte chose to be depicted. It is this departure from authenticity that underlies Khojasteh’s whole artistic practice. To obscure visages of morally disputed political leaders, or “fear-makers”, he shifts swathes and broad pathways of paint on the textural terrain of his paintings, as an effort to detract from otherwise “candid” portraiture. An audacity in simplicity.

The sculptures are sumptuous in shape - deflated, elongated and smoothened, and are reminiscent of the dynamic portrayal of Bonaparte, stretching towards the heavens. With the sculptures Touch the moon and Touch the sun, Khojasteh manipulates physical material to explore the hypothetical thought of placing the moon atop his sculpture as a way to “catch the moon”, or to eternalise a victory - but for the Sad Fighter, a victory is short-lived in the face of forever.

From a man who was hungry for change, Amir Khojasteh depicts the Sad Fighter with a sullen glow; a man now, whose ambitions are suppressed by reality. Monotonous mossy greens reminiscent of military attire threaten to drag these characters into non-existence; to become yet another man clad in uniform, a hopeful person turned hopeless.

And similar to a weary man in spectacle of the moon, soaked in its moonlight, basking in its beauty, grace, and tenderness - all else dissipates in our peripheral. Its painful distance makes the heart of the restless fighter within us grow with hope. It is a type of hope that distinguishes the embers from the ashes, a type of hope that knows no end - perhaps, to no avail.

Image: Amir Khojasteh Try to catch the moon #47, 2021Oil on canvas190 x 175 cm