In her artistic practice, Marie ZOLAMIAN collects, juxtaposes and composes pieces of memory, whether distant or recent, singular or collective. In doing so, she occupies this new area of experience that is sensitive, personal and a part of the world, enriched with meaning. As in a continuum, Marie ZOLAMIAN completes the process with a slow procession of women: sketches on paper inspired by oriental and Persian miniatures. They are priestesses and servants, conveying giving, otherness, the drunkenness of the senses, and submission. These are oil and water and all, this time, bring an offering of praise and wine, a secular ritual that, just like those involving the lustral water, sits at the crossroads of cultures and civilisations. I am reminded of the mystical poem by the 13th century author, Ibn AL FÂRIDH, and his famous ‘Al-Khamriya’: “So take it straight, though if you must, then mix it, but your turning away from the beloved’s mouth is wrong.” Likewise, watching the liquid gold of the Birzeit glass, the heart of the mystical poem has particular resonance: “Our glass,” writes Ibn AL FÂRIDH, “was its full moon, the wine a sun circled by a crescent. When it is mixed, how many stars appear!” (Translation from Th. Emil Homerin UmarIbn al-Fârid, Paulist Press, NY, 2001).
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