The sequence of life and death, existence and non-existence, being and not-being … is the most natural phenomenon we face from the moment of birth. It is something that exists in the essence of life and the emergence and destruction of all the phenomena around us. However, death with all its certainty is the most mysterious and most important event of our life and in different cultures there has always been a spiritual side to death and it is not considered the end. Perhaps that may be the reason for the deep-seated attention we have to the signs of life at the old ages.
The collection of works by Kolsum Salehi, sculptures, installations, prints and drawings, address the concept of time as they remind us of the presence of human beings and signs of life in the past. An indication of time that on one hand is constantly passing, and on the other hand, addresses the remains as a gateway to what has been preserved, the sign that we can imagine ourselves having a vague, mystic dialogue about the past life.
Salehi, just like an archaeologist, reveals these small signs of life as historical documents of sacred objects. Her work can be considered as a kind of praise for life and its continuity, as much as it can also carry a kind of violence: as if the artist bitterly shows there will be nothing left but a splintering of skin and hair, and eventually rotten bones.
Salehi has reconstructed these discoveries of life in shabby blocks, without trying to make them look real. For this purpose, she has used cement and gypsum and has aged her sculptures with salt to give them a weary look. In this way, her works are merely references to the past, and not precise reconstruction of the events passed. Referring to the signs of life and the evolution of time spent, with the materials that are the most important building materials today, also contributes to a significant contradiction. Particularly repeating these blocks in a kind of arrangement that reminds us of sacred temples, spirits and primitive Gods. Along with her drawings and prints that reflect the stone cold atmosphere of modern residential buildings and interlocked blocks, her sculptural and installation work provides the potential for other interpretations of the current human condition and block-like residentials.