A Romance of Many Dimensions, by renowned Canadian Iranian artist Ghazaleh Avarzamani, is an installation inspired by the ancient game of cockfighting, a blood sport deeply embedded within various religious belief systems and cultures.
Chair-like structures are topped with traditional baskets used to contain the birds, bred specifically for their innate aggression and — through human training and conditioning — their ability to sustain an attack, despite severe injury, broken bones and exhaustion, and ultimately, kill.
Take a minute to step inside the baskets. What do you see? How does your confinement within the baskets make you feel? Next, watch others interacting with the baskets. How has your perspective changed?
By inviting us to take the place of the fighting birds, Avarzamani wants us to reflect on the individual’s perspective and role in the face of division, conflict and control systems, and how, ultimately, everyone is complicit and invested in “the game,” be it as a passive spectator or an active participant.
This metaphor illustrates how human beings aren’t born to kill but are conditioned to observe each other with suspicion and hatred, sometimes leading to deadly combat.
The timely project explores the complex causes of global conflicts and how everyone is complicit – either directly or indirectly.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist who studied painting at Azad Art University, Tehran, and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, London, UK. In 2021, she was the Museum’s Artist in Residence, which culminated in her ground-breaking exhibition titled: *Terms and Conditions Apply.
Curator: Marianne Fenton
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