From Memory to Memorial
‘From Memory to Memorial’ takes its reference from artists’ familial past around some historical events between 1920-1930 in Turkmenistan. While this decade was crucial for Turkmenistan to acquire a clearly defined territory under the Soviet rule, it came at huge cost to her ancestors: execution, confiscation of property, and displacement.
In 2017 she started exploring her familial history of that specific time period through her art practice and exhibited the final work in 2019 at B-galleria Turku, Finland. This current show is the continuation of the Turku show, however with a different angle. In Vejdani’s earlier show the focus was on studying the transmission of her familial history of that time through familial memory, while this time the focus is on portraying that memory and juxtaposing it with some elements. Elements such as Turkmen rituals, Turkmen epic stories, Turkmen carpet making, Turkmen written history, and western art history. This depicts her curiosity to construct a connection with all those elements. A connection that is either temporal ( before and after), spatial or relational. Through this built connection, she attempts to make her familial past visible and map it in a broader contemporary historical events.
Mediums of this project are painting and video work, and it was exhibited at Myymälä2
To Err is Human
In summer 2021, Aishe Vejdani exhibited three of her paintings at Mänttä art festival, the biggest summer festival in Finland’s contemporary art scene, with Anna Ruth's curation. She engaged her paintings with the theme of the festival “To Err Is Human”. This triptych paintings tackles the theme with the story of origin, original sin, original err in Adam and Eve's story but in a context that is more familiar yet odd. These three paintings are stylistically influenced by Persian miniature in the use of bright colours and a creative perspective. Creative perspective is used to merge foreground and background together, to make them appear at the same time with no hierarchy.
Because They Were Three, They Were Four
This collective short film 'Because They Were Three, They Were Four’ is co-written and co-directed with Aishe Vejdani, Shahi Derky (b. 1997, Damascus, Syria),) and Uzair Amjad’s(b.1989, Lahore, Pakistan). It utilises the premise of a video chat between three close friends to examine the multiple realities of a shared experience. The conversation between the three friends is anchored around one of their shared experiences. The short film was commissioned by curator Elham Rahmati to explore plurality of truth through storytelling in films, and it was among other artworks curated by her exhibited at Stoa gallery, Helsinki.
Short Film "Fog"
Year: 2020 / Original Title: Fog / Language: English / Genre: psychological drama / Duration: 9‘13’’ / Writer & Director: Aishe Vejdani / Producers: Academy of Moving People and Images, Aishe Vejdani.
A woman is at a cottage with her partner where her reality and identity gets challenged by nightmare and day dreaming.
This short was an attempt to push the borders of identity to the edge in which it does not fit into the structure of representation. It got premiered in Helsinki international film festival 'Love & Anarchy' 2020 in the curated section callled 'With the Current...' curated by Sepideh Raha. Fog also got selected to be screened at Kotka international film festival in Finland 2021.
Fog is a graduation project from the experimental film school, Academy of Moving People and Images that Vejdani participated in 2019.
From laughter to cry
From 2017-2019 Aishe Vejdani engaged her practice with her familial history of 1920-1930 in Turkmenistan, where her family originally comes from. She exhibited the final work at B-galleria Turku. While this decade was crucial for Turkmenistan to acquire a clearly defined territory under the Soviet rule, it came at huge cost to her ancestors: execution, confiscation of property, and displacement to Iran.
In this project, she investigates transmission of her familial history of that time through memory. She tackles some issues and questions such as her alienation from her familial history and where it comes from. She uses laughter as a disturbing contrast to her traumatic familial past with its eruptive power as a tool to help her get closer to what is invisible or intangible.
From laughter to cry’s take off
When Aishe Vejdani first engaged her works with her familial history, she started off intuitively with the three paintings below. She painted herself with shoes and clothes she had packed and unpacked during her multiple relocations between places and countries. Looking back it looks like Vejdani was symbolically about to unpack and get ready for one of the most important themes of her practice: memory in relation to her familial history. Even though she ended up not showing these three works later at the B galleria exhibition in 2019, nevertheless these paintings have been influential in her practice since then.
From East to West: My Diary
One year after immigration to Finland, time and place specificity comes back to Aishe Vejdani's work. As any newcomer she was introduced to Finland's epic literature Kalevala. Creation of this book in its urge to preserve Finnish language and its oral literature reminded her of Iran’s epic book ‘Shahnameh’. Though there are differences between the two in their scope, time and place, nevertheless the cause is more or less the same: to protect the language and oral literature from the danger of scatter and oblivion under different government rules.
Vejdani could relate to the urge to preserve the language and oral literature. She shares this urge as an ethnic minority in Iran to preserve her Turkmen language and oral literature. Therfore Vejdani was curious in portraying this urge and exposing it to her life visually. She used some illustrations of Klevalah and Shahname stories and juxtaposed them with her family photos. This juxtapose was done by collage on her paintings.
The One and Only
This painting series was painted right after Aishe Vejdani immigrated to Finland, and exhibited as a solo painting show at Loimaa art museum's Dryer gallery. This project engages itself with questions of identity and female subjectivity at the verge immigration. Subjects in this series are portrayed in a space with no specific time or place, much like inner world.
Works below are selected from Vejdani's Master's degree graduation project and some of her studies after the graduation. It was in this project that she first engaged her work with generational relation within her family in the context of her Turkmen ethnicity in Iran. Juxtaposing the new with old, using laughter and its eruptive power within the concurrence of old and new, repetition and symmetry were tools for her to make sense of her identity in Iran. She further investigates her identity through her gender and mother daughter relations in this project.