WHEN MADNESS MEETS HUNGER is an ongoing series of ink drawings by Aphrodite Désirée Navab. Her work is known to haunt “…our imagination with its beauty and complexity, inviting us to engage in a third space of transnational and cross-cultural initiations, leaving domination and demonization outside the picture,’ –collector of the series and NY Times #1 Best Seller author Reza Aslan of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013) writes. “Her art is the aching inquiry of an uprooted consciousness seeking new roots.”
WHEN MADNESS MEETS HUNGER consists of thirteen ink drawings “serving a site of critical dialogue and debate” where Navab imagines an invented encounter between the protagonist of Iranian writer Sadeq Hedayat’s novella The Blind Owl and the protagonist of Czech writer Franz Kafka’s short story, “The Hunger Artist.”
“I do weeks of research for my art, collecting primary sources,” says Navab. “For this series, I re-read Hedayat’s novella The Blind Owl, and I re-read Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist.” I read secondary sources, examining and critiquing their art. I read historical sources on the Czech republic and Austria during Kafka’s time and Iran during Hedayat’s time, then researched the internet for photographs of the writers from birth until death…It is no accident that Hedayat translated several of Kafka’s work into Farsi.” Metaphors, allegories, and themes are explored of the artists in voluntary exile, the nature of performance art, the real and the ideal, rituals of insanity, the existential crises of the artists and their autobiographical narratives.
On view from June 8th through July 3rd. Gallery hours: Wednesday - Sunday 1 PM - 8 PM Location: Studio 26 Gallery at 179 East 3rd Street, New York City, NY 10009