24th Jun 2009

Trauerfeier (funeral) by Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar combines bright colours and the serious subject of death to provoke a reaction:

In her work Trauerfeier Parastou Forouhar has taken fabrics that seem merely decorative to western eyes, but which are actually used traditionally in Iranian mourning ceremonies, and has made them into covers for office chairs. At first glance, they look just like loose-covers that are a little too short to conceal the legs and castors. Grouped together, they form a brightly coloured ensemble that combines the familiar with the exotic. This alternation between near and far both activates and excludes the viewer at one and the same this respect, the work develops an aura of the kind that Walter Benjamin described as a unique appearance of distance, no matter how close [the object] might be".

Her parents, who were two leading opposition politicians, were murdered in 1998.