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March 25 - April 7, 2005
Opening Reception: Friday, March 25, 4-7pm
Arta Gallery is pleased to present the first-ever Toronto solo exhibition of Iranian artist Mehdi Forouzandi. The Key to Heaven features the most recent series of the artist’s work and deals with the collision between Iranian traditional and modern art and the clash between modern man and religious beliefs.
The Key to Heaven is an installation of items Forounzandi found in an unusual bazaar in Tehran. These items espouse Muslim Fundamentalism in unexpected ways: a Key to Heaven game, a version of the Monopoly game with the street names changed to the names of Islam’s religious practices with the ultimate goal of receiving the key to heaven; a game of dominos with the numbered dots changed to Muslim prayer positions; even party hats with verses from the Koran. The idea behind the installation is to show how, unlike Nietzsche’s famous quote that “God is dead,” god is very much alive in some places and, according to the new generation of Muslim Fundamentalists, should be a part of every aspect of life. It underscores how they blame artists, intellectuals and western culture for anything that is going wrong in the world.