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1956, Tehran. Lives in New York City.

The Real Beloved Is Not The Form

Y.Z. Kami is best known for his portraits of humble, unremarkable people with compact and acute gazes. Their modesty and solitude unites us in the awareness of our mortality. There is a precise resignation about Kami’s unassuming portraits that cut through class, gender and, to an extent, language. For the Biennial, Kami photographed a series of buildings and portraits in the city of Konya during the Mawlid, the celebration of the prophet Mohammed's birthday. Kami then reworked and painted directly on to the photographs to produce an imposing painting of Konya and its inhabitants.
In Kami’s sculptural installation, Sufi philosophy is echoed by the circular orbit of the alabaster stones, each one painstakingly prepared and inscribed with verses from Rumi’s The Book of Shams-e Tabrizi. The painting and sculpture evoke, in one sweep, Kami’s Persian heritage, the stonework in Seljukid, religious architecture in Central Asia and the ornamental
aesthetics of that region that have been fundamental to his practice for the last ten years.

Vasıf Kortun


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