Exhibited widely throughout the United States and internationally, Ebtekar’s impressive body of work over the past decade has drawn evocative parallels between events unfolding today and events and stories of the past. Challenged by an increasing desire to look towards the future and how to manifest this palpable impulse into a new series of work, he began researching the narratives and concepts of the literary genre of science fiction, where depictions of the future, space flight, and time travel set the stage for narratives of realistic speculation about possible future events.
“Ebtekar presents two new bodies of work exploring concepts of alternate realities, space, and utopia against the backdrop of photographs of the famous Tomb of Hafez located in Shiraz, Iran and actual book pages from Hafez’s revered collection of works, the Divan-e-Hafez. In the Persian-speaking world, Hafez is regarded as an extraordinary poet whose verses are infused with mystical love and philosophical depth and also as a seer, a “tongue of the mysterious,” who was divinely inspired. For centuries many have consulted the words of Hafez for guidance on subjects such as travel, illness, or finances. Holding the Divan-e-Hafez, they close their eyes, make a wish, randomly turn to a page, open their eyes, and recite the poem, receiving an amalgamation of poetic rapture, existential guidance, and moral inspiration.” Excerpt from catalogue essay written by Kevin B. Chen, Program Director at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, CA.
Ala Ebtekar describes his work as “a visual glimpse of a crossroad where present day events meet history and mythology”. He received his BA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2002 and his MFA degree from Stanford University in 2006. His work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the United States, most recently in “The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989” at ZKM – Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany. He is a visiting lecturer at Stanford University, and lives and works in San Francisco.
(info and pictures provided by The Third Line Gallery)