Shirazeh Houshiary Steps Over The Line At Lisson


Lisson Gallery presents its seventh solo exhibition of Shirazeh Houshiary, No Boundary Condition, addressing invisible forms within the observable realm


The solo exhibition of Shirazeh Houshiary at the Lisson Gallery, No Boundary Condition, displays her recent large-scale paintings, sculptures and animation. The show reveals her preoccupation with the sub-observable, the ethereal, and the indefinable, Houshiary’s work seeking to venture beyond our visible realm and into the invisible – to float ‘between existence and non-existence.’


Words often form the basis of Houshiary’s paintings, but, rather than being ‘text art’, they instead become the centre of an ephemeral visual explosion. Houshiary’s words – illegible, often quasi invisible – morph outwards into delicate cobwebs that weave together to form an ethereal floating cloud-like layer against a dense backdrop. In this way, the works seem to register beyond our ordinary perceptions, hovering at the very edge of what we can sense.


Houshiary’s sculptures possess a similarly elusive quality. ‘String Quintet’, shown on the terrace of the gallery, is a tower of twisting, woven metal that feels as if it is actually breathing, organically expanding and contracting, and yearning to break free from the space it occupies, and to dissipate into the clouds above.


In ‘Dust’, her previously unseen video projection, Houshiary presents us with a number of evolving image cycles that document smoke as it transforms into soot, and then into nothingness. The work taps into the energy and rhythm of such ephemeral things, celebrating a beauty that normally passes by undetected.


In ‘No Boundary Condition’, Houshiary further seeks to reveal to us the ‘invisible but ever-present’ things in our world – the elements that connect us all together like breath, light and air. But, here, as in all her works, Houshiary is not simply ‘showing and telling’; rather, she is asking us to transcend the boundaries of name, nationality and culture, and to recognise a common vein of humanity; the hidden energies that engulf us all.


Words: Lily Mull © 2011 ArtLyst


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