There was a time in my childhood when I had a jar of metal powder, which I would spread on a piece of cardboard and move a magnet underneath to create forms I would then watch for hours. Something on that cardboard sheet mesmerized me. I touch these sewn lines: ‘sewing’ rings of pain and recuperation to me, always. The patterns Maryam Ashkanian creates appear to me, more than anything else, as references to the opaque and cold eroticism surrounding us: the opaque, black and white, Iranian eroticism. They are images that can be easily touched and felt. Ashkanian’s works recall that of Bridget Riley and Giuseppe Penone, as if she is stitching Penone’s clay statues on cold canvases applying a feminine meticulousness combined with Bridget Riley’s precision. It is as if she is trying to recreate the same delirious effect of Riley’s works on the viewer’s retina. The collection contains a traumatic duality and contrast and stands somewhere between the erotic and its unrepresentability. To me, before and above all else, it is about a distorted sexual organ, of images filled with horror and insecurity. Another aspect of these works is where they refer me to the magnet of the artist’s mind, to the unconscious, performing a function similar to my childhood magnet and those fluid, cold and random images. Without the help of any preset framework, I can stand in front of an artwork and look at it: for me, being is always prior to quality. What my eyes save for me from this collection is lines resembling minute words, with the same sense of recuperation and pain of which sewing always rings—and there is of course eroticism, the same opaque eroticism. New forms will provide an escape: we are indebted to art particularly in this geography where there is always something wrong with the form. It is all about human: we cannot reverse the historical process we have initiated ourselves to destroy this huge edifice of religion and art. We naturally obey what exists.