ته مانده تو Your Residue
Elnaz Javani’s body of work expands the purview of the corporeal and psychological stratum of the human body. Javani’s fabric-based installations offer an enthralling and intricate narrative that is conceptually and formally sutured by a multitude of embroidery techniques, drawing styles, and narrative strategies.
The coalescence of human bodies in which she situates her stories leads one to speculate about the many layers unfolding in front of one’s eyes. In most of Javani’s work, limits and boundaries are often questioned and tested. When does the body cease to be physically present? Is this imaginary border the surface of one’s skin, clothing, or is it rather something beyond its physical attributes? For Javani, the bodily limits are quite elastic and bleed into the social milieu wherein encounters, reductions, and frictions occur. Being a human is a messy experience, so are the limits of telling a story of how it feels to be one.
Elnaz Javani’s process is deeply rooted in employing embroidery to render visible the latent narratives, traumas, and processes of immigration, waiting, and hurdles of bureaucracy. Javani has no intention of concealing her experiences. This radical visibility of trauma perhaps is at the core of Javani’s work––every minute trauma and memory matters, so does every single stitch. Javani’s objects can be vulnerable, humorous, and empathetic––they may even be too human to be considered a static object.
One reason behind this, is her choice of working with found objects, discarded clothing from thrift shops, and scraps. These disposable materials are part of an incessant cycle of reusing, discarding, forgetting, and abandoning. In this perspective, Javani’s works oscillate between searching for the potentiality of an object to have a hitherto assigned meaning, or whether at some point during this cycle one may be able to interrupt, pause and search for the forgotten memories within the object or thoroughly strip it of any meaning it may have had.
Javani’s work is not shy of dealing with the difficulties of being a human––of learning, remembering, living and dying. It is hard to be a human––it is ceaseless and radical fatigue.