Morehshin Allahyari is an Iranian-American artist who creates 3D printed sculptures of jinns of Middle Eastern culture. These pieces are displayed at the Brooklyn gallery TRANSFER, as part of an ongoing artist residency at the art-meets-tech organization Eyebeam. Allahyari said that she was mainly interested in the dark goddesses of the Arabian cannon.
Iranian-born Allahyari lives in the US talks about the differences in the culture of the east and the west and talks candidly about the fact that she is a minority. One of her sculptures, the Jinna Huma is a three-headed demon who makes people sick with fever. It is the first finished sculpture of Allahyari’s exhibition and this 3D printed sculpture made in black resin, is perched on a high pedestal at the art gallery. A projector displays different modes and version of the goddess on the screen right behind where the sculpture is placed. The goddess is a mystical monster with tremendous super powers and dark mysteries.
Allahyari has used 3D printing as a means to create these feminist sculptures which portray her feelings about patriarchy and male dominance in the society. She says that usually, the cultural artifacts that are recreated are from the western culture. These Middle Eastern pieces are mostly just reconstructed with no efforts ever given to their historical identity. With this 3D printing technique, Allahyari has made an effort to retain the historical importance of these objects by means of the “She who sees the Unknown” collection.
Allahyari proposes to create about a dozen 3D printed jinns with their talismans. A reading room that houses feminist texts in Farsi and Arabic is also setup in the art gallery. Users can also browse and download the rare images of the dark goddesses. Allahyari soon plans to work on an online archive comprising of the lesser known dark goddesses of the Middle East.