Afshin Matlabi: Conflict

12–28 Nov 2011
The Lounge 401 Richmond St. W., Toronto, ON

In fall 2001 Canada joined the War on Terror, as part of a coalition of thirty-seven countries under the United Nations’ mandate to change the fundamentalist regime of the Taliban. Afghanistan became the site of a conflict where the West set out to impose its ideological supremacy, and democratic way of life.

Over the last ten years in Afghanistan alone, the Canadian forces have seen many deaths and hundreds wounded; meanwhile many Afghani deaths are civilian casualties. Islam, Fundamentalism, Taliban, Al Quaeda, IED, Hearts and Minds — these are just some of the buzzwords that have entered the lexicon of day-to-day life.

Conflict relies on traditional war etchings and symbolic gestures, bringing to the forefront the poetics of war. Dark lines create an intimacy, while distancing a sense of life and death, or belief and struggle. Conflict is an homage to the mixed sentiments of patriotism and hope. It is a tribute to the fallen.

Afshin Matlabi is a Montréal-based visual artist who works in print media and drawing. He has a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from Ryerson Polytechnic University. Matlabi has taken numerous art courses at Emily Carr College of Art and Design and the Ontario College of Art and Design, as well as a private arts apprenticeship Tehran. He is permanent teacher in the Visual Arts department at Vanier College in Montréal. Matlabi has exhibited at MAI and Galerie Optica (Montréal), YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto), MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), and the Art Gallery of Calgary. He was born in Tehran, Iran.

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