In recent years the visual artist and filmmaker Atousa Bandeh has creat¬ed an impressive series of drawings, both in large and small sizes. Draw¬ing, she says, is direct and intimate.
Pencil and inkpen are far different tools than the short fiction films that established her reputation, like prize-winning The Day I disappeared. But the importance of narrative, depic¬tion of stories, the innate incentive to imagining pictures and images, sur¬face in a similar way. In her drawings she shares the wealth of her vulner-ability with the viewer, that is to say, with those viewers who are attentive to poetry.
A certain antenna is needed to grasp the symbols and references of these lively and attractive compositions.
Atousa came of age during the Irani¬an revolution, she saw the hopes and catastrophic betrayal of a cause. She left Iran at the age of 19 and now lives and works in Amsterdam, often re¬turning to her native Shiraz.“Because political dialectics wrested themselves into all aspects of my life, I have al¬ways resisted the pressures here toconveniently politicize my art simply because I am Iranian, to be at once victim and indignant. There is a friction in me, a preference for dreams and my memories. Yet everything, any¬where, life reality, personal symbols, are also political, it is effortless, ines¬capable”. In several works the central figure is surrounded by symbolic ele¬ments which by way of their repetition create a movement in Bandeh’s visual work.