The petite Farshid Moussavi is a giant of accomplishment in her field. Founder of Farshid Moussavi Architecture, Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, previously co-Founder of London-based Foreign Office Architects, member of the Aga Khan architecture Award Steering Committee, Trustee of the London Architecture Foundation and the Whitechapel Gallery, she was elected as a Royal Academician in 2015 and has published three books. This year she has curated the architecture room at the RA Summer Show. She agreed to share with our followers her love of three art works, united by the theme of the power and potentials of the every day – a theme highlighted in the hit new Design Museum as well.
“Despite the fact that the Middle East continues to be immersed in political conflicts, these works don’t reduce art to a political manifesto. Instead, they use the power of everyday aesthetics to make us think, and therefore encourage in us a political mindfulness and awareness about our most ordinary surroundings. They make us think without telling us how to.”
I love the circular baggage carousel by Emily Jacir, which sits on the floor and starts moving as you approach it. Again, it is an everyday object, experienced by everyone in airports, ferry terminals and train stations. We have all experienced it through travel. The baggage carousel is an object for an architectural space. It involves retrieving your beloved belongings, but it also brings feelings of anticipation as you wait. It can also generate a social space as people often start to speak to each other as their baggage arrival is delayed.
MONA HATOUM, LIGHT SENTENCE, 1992. GALVANISED WIRE MESH LOCKERS, ELECTRIC MOTOR AND LIGHT BULB
198 X 185 X 490 CM (78 X 72.75 X 193 IN.) INSTALLATION VIEW AT CENTRE POMPIDOU, PARIS, 1994
© MONA HATOUM. COURTESY CENTRE POMPIDOU, MNAM-CCI / DIST RMN-GP (PHOTO: PHILIPPE MIGEAT)
I love Mona Hatoum’s work for the way it invites us to look again at our everyday objects and words, and see in them potentials we can easily overlook as they are so familiar to us.
The cow was part of her livelihood as a farmer. It was sold by the artist’s sons when she was sick and they believed she should not go on long walks to feed it. Mokarrameh Ghanbari started painting out of sorrow. The painting with the cow is political in my opinion, showing us that we can develop deep affection for our work. It is also political as is shows that our deepest sorrows can in themselves bring deep strength to us - in this case, the strength to express the power of ordinary life through painting, and the strength to defy the idea that a farmer cannot be an artist.