monoliths and a cityscape upon a horizon
|Farsh by Roda Medhat at unit blanche Toronto, 2022|
“By rendering problematic the triangular interrelation of power, discourse, and subjectivity, we can begin to articulate alternative ways of being regulated by discourse. Concrete and concerted efforts to find ways to privilege other forms of truth and subjectivity lead us to ways of not being governed “quite so much.”
(Teresa Macias, “On the Footsteps of Foucault”: Doing Social Justice Research, p.239 in Research as Resistance: Revisiting Indigenous, Indigenous, and Anti-Oppressive Approaches, edited by Leslie Brown and Susan Strega. Women’s Press, 2015, pp. 221-242.)
Tonight is nuit blanche Toronto.
Dr. Julie Nagam’s curatorial vision of “The Space Between Us” extends the traditionally downtown event beyond Scarborough to the civic centres of North York and Etobicoke to follow waterways and other ways of knowing. Headlining the coverage of the event in the Toronto Star is a carpeted structure by Roda Medhat, called
Kurdish-Canadian multi-media artist Roda Medhat will present his work, entitled “Farsh,” featuring a 16-foot-tall pyramid covered in custom-made Kurdish-style carpets. COURTESY NUIT BLANCHE
In Etobicoke, Kurdish-Canadian multimedia artist Roda Medhat will present his work, entitled “Farsh,” featuring a 16-foot-tall pyramid covered in custom-made Kurdish-style carpets. In all, the work encompasses around 30 metres of carpet, hand-stitched by the artist. The sculpture is at 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park.
“Given the stature of the piece, it’s intended to draw audiences in and evoke a sense of awe and wonder. You don’t have to be Kurdish to recognize the unique patterning and styling of the carpets. You don’t have to be Middle Eastern to enjoy the historical significance and craftwork of carpet weaving,” Medhat said.
“The work is intended to help us draw similarities between ourselves and other cultures and to act as a beacon in the community to bring us together, especially so in a post-COVID world,” he added.
Medhat, an OCAD graduate, said he intends to stick around for the entire 12-hour event, “both interacting with other artists and viewing from a distance how the audience reacts and engages with my work,” Medhat said.
I am reminded of the study by Mamur, N. & Özsoy, V., & Karagöz, İ. (2020). Digital learning experience in museums: Cultural readings in a virtual environment. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 7(2), 335-350.
In this study, teachers and students based in Turkey offered ideas about how critical thinking skills are applied in a virtual learning environment. The study sets out the relationship between everyday visual culture and museum-based object-based visual culture. It invites students to consider the relationship to traditional observational learning in the museum vs an online experience, to imagine what is possible. They observed that some children identified the flying carpet as a metaphor for museum-based learning, where one could gather up objects onto their carpet while moving through rooms.
The carpet, that looks like a traditional floor covering from Iran, can roll up and out; it can even become “motorized” like a vehicle that takes us along many rooms in a museum.
But as a tall “pyramid,” it is a monumental place, a place of regard or rest, a tomb.
It’s location, at Kipling and Lakeshore Roads in Toronto, is situated near Lakeshore Lodge Long-Term Care Home, and the New Toronto Cenotaph where a monument to those buried elsewhere is erected, a 7.3 meter granite memorial donated by the community in 1983,
“To Our Glorious Dead” in WWI (1914-1918); WWII (1939-1945); Korea (1950-53).
Medhat's Farsh, and its close proximity to the Cenotaph is asking us to expand our understanding of New Toronto and to acknowledge death beyond these wars cited here; post municipal amalgamation: the rendering in the Toronto Star offers a futurity within our grasp.
What is the unique patterning and styling of the carpet?
- Symmetrical knotting upon a woolen foundation
- Stout and solid in structure
- Garden carpets
- Flaming palmettes
- Exuberant colours
What is Farsh?
- Floor, the inside lower horizontal surface (as of a room, hallway, tent, or other structure).
Lake Ontario shoreline...
out of reach...
glitch27, nov 19, 2021
text, oct 1, 2022