Parastou Forouhar


For me, the script of my mother tongue had no other purpose than to demonstrate its own seductive and confusing existence. Its characters are lovingly connected with one another. They are transformed into ornaments, and the memory of the word meanings only shines through.

Parastou Forouhar


The Persian script is turned into an ornament. Covering the white walls of the museums, the characters serve Forouhar as “paper” for her own text. The room becomes a “writing room”. Whereas the white walls of the gallery room are raised to a universal norm and an unmarked instance, the Oriental ornament stands for difference or the deviating. The writing is also strange, if not alien, because it is illegible for Western visitors – as an “incomprehensible” text it becomes a pure ornament. In defying attempts by Western visitors to assign it meaning, the script remains locked into its irreducible pictorial graphicness and indissoluble representation. Even if one has a command of Persian, the characters prove to be nothing more than word fragments and syllables, which are not subject to a linear order. The script ornamentation covers the whole room – the ceiling, the floor, and the walls. Viewers entering the rooms are surrounded by patterns, forcing them to give up their sovereign, distanced standpoint.




b. 1962, Teheran, Iran

Lives and works in Germany since 1991. She completed her BA in Fine Arts at the University of Teheran and afterwards she studied at the University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Design and Art, in Offenbach. Her work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo shows include: Ornament and Crime, Law Warschaw Gallery of Macalester College, St. Paul (2013) • Written Room, Fondazione Merz, Turin (2011) • Parastou Forouhar at Leighton House Museum, London (2010) • Surrender, Azad Art Gallery, Teheran (2009) • Links of Violence, Orgel Fabrik, Karlsruhe (2009) • Marching Bands, Saarland artists space, Saarbrücken, Germany (2005) • Tausendundein Tag, National Gallery at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003). Selected group exhibitions: The Fold, CAB Contemporary Art, Brussels (2013) • Conflicts, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel (2013) • Göteborg Biennial for Contemporary Art (2013) • Feminst and ..., Matrass Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, USA (2012) • 7th Asia Pasific Triennal of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2012) • Medi(t)ation, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2011) • 21st Century, Gallery Of Modern Art, Brisbane (2010) • TASWIR, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2009) • Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007) • Intersections, Jewish Museums of Melbourne and San Francisco (2005).