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Ramak Fazel
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY 10012
January 23, 2008 - March 8, 2008


A Look at Ramak Fazel
by Yaelle Amir


This exhibition provides a visual survey of the journey Ramak Fazal – an American of Iranian heritage – embarked on in August, 2006, in order to gain a closer perspective of his country.  Upon rediscovering his childhood vintage stamp collection in his mother’s home in Fort Wayne, IN, Fazel devised a road trip during which he would visit each of the 50 states’ capitol buildings.  He mapped out his route, purchased a white van, and set out from east to west with his camera and stamp collection in tow.

Upon his arrival in each capital, Fazel composed a collage of stamps that related to the state’s history and mailed it by ‘general delivery’ to his next destination. In every city, he would pick up the previous postcard and mail a new one. Thus, while his route was definitive, the duration of his trip was entirely dependent on the speed of the mail delivery. After visiting the post office, he would proceed to the capitol building to photograph and observe the structure and its visitors, before continuing on to the next state.

Fazel’s idyllic concept was interrupted a mere third of the way through his expedition when he was detained and questioned as a suspected terror threat.  What therefore began as a naïve exploration of his homeland soon became an alienating and challenging venture, which forced him to contemplate his place and identity within this country’s current reality.

- Yaelle Amir

 

(*Images, from top to bottom:  Ramak Fazel, 49 State Capitols, January 23 - March 8, 2008; Storefront for Art and Architecture, Fazel's route across the US: 17,345 miles in 78 days, Courtesy of the artist and Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York.  Ramak Fazel, 49 State Capitols, January 23 - March 8, 2008; Storefront for Art and Architecture, Installation views, Courtesy of the artist and Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York.  Ramak Fazel, 49 State Capitols, January 23 - March 8, 2008; Storefront for Art and Architecture, Installation views,, Courtesy of the artist and Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York.)

 



Posted by Yaelle Amir on 2/17/08

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