FARSHIDO LARIMIAN: Browsing flea markets and gathering knick-knacks of the past has always been a hobby of mine. Recently though, my hobby seems to have taken a new turn and has practically become an addiction. I gravitate toward things that interest me and pick my curiosity, not for collection purposes, but with a definite intention of being able to use them eventually somehow. I keep my acquisitions in a special chest until such time that my imagination conjures up a new destiny and purpose for them. Once, in my never-ending rummage of my beloved bookstore (the oldest in Vienna), exploring its damp and forgotten cellar, I came across a box that was filled with old copies of fashion magazines dating back to 1889.
The artists’ and designers’ exemplary attention to every detail caught my
eyes; in the way that a certain look was shown, or the manner in which the face and the hands of the models were displayed. The artistic value undoubtedly went beyond a mere magazine advertisement.
I was reminded of the 20th century master of modern Persian poetry, Sohrab Sepehri. He had once written in spring of 1945 that no piece of art can ever be totally complete or so perfect that it cannot be improved upon.
In order to bring out and share the elegance and delicacy of what I had seen, I decided to become their magnifying glass, their projector. After 2 years of non-stop work, I finally found the tool and the technique to do just this.
A classic technique I had learnt at elementary school using carbon paper. I constructed large carbon paper to present these old gems in the best way possible and I threw my own soul and emotion into the mix. With some hesitation, taking extreme care, and the realization of what the original artists had accomplished, I
went to work. I tried to give birth to a new artistic piece, which could create even more meaning and amplify the message. I opted for a collage and started looking for similar forms and figures, in a way that once done, it would seem as if all the pieces had always belonged together and had never been apart. Through this method, I was able to give new life and present once again, the artists’ work to the public after over hundred years. The new piece is a mélange; of me, of pieces of history, of all that I keep in my special chest of memories.