by Ariadna Zierold
Ala Ebtekar often combines futuristic concepts from science fiction with philosophies and mythologies to explore mental and spiritual transcendence of time and space. Through a steady career that has incorporated sculpture, photography and installation, Ala Ebtekar has continually returned to his initial passion of drawing and painting. The artist’s practice is informed by history, Persian mythology, science and philosophy, which he juxtaposes with contemporary and pop-culture elements.
In his latest show, “Nowheresville\‘nä-kōja,-abäd” the US-based artist of Iranian origin juxtaposes the Illuminationist cosmogony of the 12th century Persian mystical philosopher Shahabuddin Suhrawardi with images from the Hubble space telescope and sounds recorded by the Voyager spacecraft, to link the past with the future, the microcosm with the macrocosm and inner journeys of self-discovery and enlightenment with voyages into the unknown depths of the cosmos.
It is a spiritual journey, and the idea of Nowheresville that Ebtekar has tried to visually represent in his show. Embedded in his artworks are portals that invite viewers to enter another plane of consciousness and embark on a journey into forgotten pasts and imagined futures.
“This show was about a journey, about light and about connecting worlds and times that are centuries apart. The mythology of almost every culture talks about a hero’s journey and the challenge of performing seven labours to get to his final destination.” – Ala Ebtekar
Images via The Third Line