First but not Last Time in America
2 July – 9 october 2022
Born in Afghanistan in 1989, Kubra Khademi has developed a multidisciplinary body of work whose aesthetic draws as much upon medieval Persian poetry and iconography as it does upon the most contemporary of current art practices, abolishing spatiotemporal boundaries with extraordinary joyous acuity.
After her performance Armor, organised in Kabul in response to the violence of patriarchal Afghan society, the artist took refuge in Paris. She currently works between the USA and France.
Invited to the 76th edition of the Festival d’Avignon, Kubra Khademi invents a fresco infused world in which Persian poetry inspires heroic stories that tell contemporary dramas and nourish an inexhaustible desire for resistance.
Extract from Festival d’Avignon‘s press kit :
An Afghan artist who came to France as a refugee in 2015, Kubra Khademi is a feminist who draws inspiration for her paintings and performances from the situation in her country. Her depictions of women do not arise from the desire to show their nudity, but from the natural urge to portray the freedom of bodies. Those women move through mythological tales traditionally devoted to men in Afghan culture, or through situations which break free from the patriarchy with beauty and humour. With her new series, made of cloth and threads, Kubra Khademi continues her creation of a fresco-like world where appear the fights of ancestral tapestries, this time led by women. And their heroic actions are adorned with unique words: Persian poetry, be it epic or modern, or the so-called “below the belly button” popular poetry of Afghan women, as well as the slogans they now chant in the streets against the Talibans. The author of the poster for this year’s Festival d’Avignon, Kubra Khademi leads us into an artistic world which draws its power from its freedom.
Curator : Stéphane Ibars
With the great support of gallery Éric Mouchet, Latitudes Contemporaines, Salomon Foundation
and partner with Festival d’Avignon