Amir H. Fallah | Almost Home | 24 May – 1 July 2017 | Gallery 2 at The Third Line
Last spotted by The Luxe Diary team at the House of Bazaar last fall, Amir H. Fallah returns to The Third Line with a new body of work titled Almost Home reflecting on the idea of belonging outside one’s country of origin. The exhibition shows a series of the artist’s signature style landscapes and portraits, respectively referencing floral Persian ornamentation and Iranian-American immigrants who have not returned to Iran since their departure several decades ago. Amir works deeply from his own experience and explores what it means to exist outside the homeland.
Almost Home looks at narratives that seem congruent in the immigrants’ lives. The concept of a home takes on a new meaning: it is fluid, transient, constantly evolving; it is not one grounded in old land, seeped with the history of generations that have passed through it. A new home, then, is rebuilt holding on to constants that people of migration identify as markers of a culture that they need to perpetuate in newer landscapes. The impermanence of these new homes is a reflection of a very stark reality of modern day mobility and livelihood.
The Filmmaker’s Reflection (featured image) displays Amir’s bold style of portrait painting. The subject’s identity remains anonymous, though it is surrounded by an assortment of items, primarily personal belongings and memorabilia. These pieces of clothing, jewelry and mementos reference the home, the subject’s roots and cultural heritage. Along the edges of the painting is an elaborate tangle of flowers and vines similar to the ornate borders found on Persian rugs.
In creating this surreal window into a highly schematic vision of typified memories, Amir plays what it means to be away from one’s home and country of origin, and creates an ironically tourist book condition of displacement. Adding a second layer of meaning to the exhibition, Amir chooses to exhibit the works in this home in Dubai, a city that has become a safe haven for thousands of Iranians. Many of Amir’s American-Iranian subjects cannot return to Iran, and they most certainly cannot be permanent settlers in the UAE, but by recreating this mirage and bringing their portraits to Dubai, Amir imagines it as one step closer to their homeland. And so, bringing them almost home.
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