Opening reception Friday, 3 May from 6 – 10 pm
Marginal Utility is proud to present NATIONAL SECURITY IS OUR PRIORITY! an exhibition by Massachusetts-based artist Omid Shekari.
Threats are weapons that are employed by the state to ignite fear in order to justify violence that is only effective in exacerbating aggression, tension and war. Shekari’s exhibition looks at power in the context of national protectionism and probes the levels of domination and violence that patriotism cause, as well as possibilities to resist such a phenomenon that we collectively face with the rise of global political extremism.
As an Iranian artist, Omid Shekari channels the crises within the Middle East through an imaginative form of magic realism that blends banal events of daily life with the potential violence that lies just below the entire surface of the globe at any time in history. Through a dexterous command of sculpture, observational drawing and direct painting, Omid depcits the horrors of the present through images that bear family resemblances with artists such as Goya, Kollwitz and Golub. Shekari presents images of brutality from the state or occupying power that manifests in water boarding, exploding IEDs and the radicalization of traumatized civilians.
Shekari’s paintings and constructions embody an Iranian gaze that confronts Western viewers with the harsh realities of the Middle East conflict that have been sublimated and distorted by mainstream media. This glimpse into a perspective that resists co optation into easy narratives that justify the continued destabilization of international relations is much-needed in these troubled times.