- Eye Stabber
- HD video, color, silent
- Tala Madani
Courtesy of the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, and Pilar Corrias Gallery, London.
Eye Stabber, 2013
Tala Mandani addresses the issues of gender and ethnicity in complex video works that can be perceived as a further development of the artistic focus on the identity politics developed from the feminist movement from the 1970s. In Mandani’s work, men are presented in their most primitive form, dominated by violence and sexual impulses. The video works Eye Stabber, Ol’ Factory and Wrong House show a naked middle-aged man who is governed by violent and irrational impulses. He rubs himself with clay or faeces, and strangles random men who knock on the door, before committing suicide. This premise is reminiscent of that of Paul McCarthy’s video work Rocky (1976), which is shown on the lower level, where McCarthy seeks to explore the mass medias presentation of violence and masculinity. Mandani’s animations are executed in an experimental style in which she combines real film clips with figures drawn both in classic Disney style and with expressive impasto brushstrokes. Mandani was born in Tehran, Iran, where women are both legally and culturally subject to the authority of men and are not permitted to participate on an equal basis publicly. Mandani’s artwork shows only men interacting with other men, and might be a way of playing with an idea of what transpires in a male-dominated reality. The artist nevertheless claims that her portrayal of men does not entirely have a basis in her own life history, but is a general exploration of macho culture, a concept that is also conveyed through Hollywood’s depictions of a masculinity that glorifies violence.