Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris

7-10 april, 2022

For their third consecutive participation in Art Paris Art Fair, SEPTIEME Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Shagha Ariannia, an Iranian artist based in Los Angeles.

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Using her lover as a muse, Shagha Ariannia has created an autofictional series reminiscent of the Orientalist works of the 19th century, only here, Shagha claims her agency over this history, playing with her subject who she has striking odalisque poses and thus effectively overturning the classical master/muse power structure. In this way, autofiction becomes a liberating realm from which to play with different polarities. The curtain is an important symbol in this exploration. In Farsi, the word for curtain is pardeh (purdah), which also means hymen as well as the religious and social practice of female seclusion. In framing her male nudes with curtains, Shagha proposes a reversal. It is no longer the woman, but the man who is relegated to the interior. He is soft, vulnerable, surprisingly exotic, a muse to be displayed at the whim of the painter. She then pushes the narrative further by representing the female body as nature.