Yasmin Etemadi (BFA 1995)
TALES FROM THE BLACK NIGHT OF THE SOUL Once upon a time of dark, troubled nights, storyteller & artist Yasmin Etemadi daydreamed into life her first tale; a vivid spontaneous daydream that surprised her. It moved her to action. So she decided to build upon this gift of an idea and bring it to life and to share it with others. Thus began these Tales from the Black Night of the Soul, a narrative set of tales combining autobiography and imagination, of fact, fiction and fable. It is a journey of heart. One tale led to another, then another, and soon a collection of quirky photographs were born from visual play and Sculpey. These Tales from the Black Night of the Soul are hybrids of daydreams,memories, and fictions, a mixture of childhood experiences, adult anxieties and cultural / historical complexities all tangled and woven together to create an individual and unique visual texture. Each tale told from the narrators voice, visually distills a distinctive moment in an unfolding storyline, a singular snapshot of an ongoing event frozen in time. These storyline characters are captured and held in place by the camera in an eternal pose. The faded colors in each tale suggest the passing of time and loss of memories, transitions and rites of passage from childhood to maturity. As a whole, these tales depict the growth of soul and consciousness, against the backdrop of worldly absurdities and desires. They are visual invitations to explore a universe of storytelling, becoming catalysts to ignite the viewer’s own creative imagination to life.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.