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Artist Creates Optical Illusions
Art And Culture

Artist Creates Optical Illusions

Babel Tower and Mirrored Ziggurat are Shirin Abedinirad’s latest installations. As she continues to utilize mirrors in her installation pieces, she experiments with light and movement, resulting in optical illusions.
Abedinirad is an Iranian artist based in Florence and Tehran.
She studied painting at Dr. Shariati University in Tehran and has delved into graphic design and conceptual art. The two installation pieces emulate biblical or spiritual temples.
Mirrored Ziggurat was the predecessor to Babel Tower. The latter work was installed in the Dasht-e Kavir desert in central Iran. With Babel Tower, Abedinirad took the concept behind Mirrored Ziggurat, and in collaboration with Italian designer Gugo Torelli, added a mechanical component, theculturetrip.com reported.
The Mirrored Ziggurat has seven levels that represent seven heavens.
“For me, mirrors amplify this paradise, giving light; an important mystical concept in Persian culture, and a medium creating an optical illusion,” she says.
The piece was installed in Sydney for the Underbelly Arts Festival in 2015. The Ziggurat’s design is an allusion to the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia, where the temples were built tall and wide “to connect the earth and the sky.” It is believed that this connection brought humans nearer to the gods. The installation not only offers a transformative view of the self but also one’s environment.
Babel Tower is named after the Tower of Babel that is mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. It is another mirrored ziggurat, but what makes it different is that it is equipped with sensors and gears that allow it to react to temperature and light. The nine tiers of the tower can all spin independently on an axis. With this movement, the tower is multiple facets representing a whole, just “as people who speak multiple languages comprise humanity of a whole.”
Abedinirad plans to reinstall the three-foot tower in New York City in the future.

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