Central to the exhibition is a hot air balloon, toppled to the floor, slowly inflating, filling the room, only to deflate and rise once again. This focal point symbolises the rise and fall of the sun, and is faced by a seemingly abstract stone sculpture. Made of mortar, the large shape resembles the corroded figure of a lion and is based on a sculpture in Hamedan, Iran, known as the "stone lion ". Dated as far back as the Hellenistic Period, the sculpture was one of a pair of lions seated at the gate of the city and acted as a talisman protecting the city from catastrophic storms and ill will.
One of the artist's most ambitious installations to date, this body of work explores the poetic and cyclical nature of transformation, both symbolic and political. Transforming found materials only to return them to ruin forms; Akhavan addresses man's shifting relationships with the inheritance of ambivalence in relation to historical symbols of power and loss.
Through 27 May 2012