Icarus's Dream was bijan Rafaty's last show which was put on view in public gallery after a few private exhibitions in Bijan's self-made locations. The reason why i call it a show is that this collection cannot easily be classified as a painting or photography or any other genre of plastic arts. In fact, the prevailing presence of the artist in this exhibit has even led to the photographed self-portrait of the artist covering parts of the walls of the gallery. . On entering the gallery, the visitor encountered a cliche in which a figure was drawn out of the middle of a metal surface. It is only on exiting from the gallery that he realizes this figure had represented the presence of the absent artist.
But why do i insist on calling this collection a show? To my belief Icarus's Dream is a beginning to an end; it is Bijan's freedom from more than three decades of ups and downs he had tolerated until he finally pulled himself out of those cliches. Can this be the dream of the artist?
The exhibition was the total of figures which had turned into forms. Even the recurrence of the artist's presence in photos, too, would leave it void of the photographic nature and there would remain the viewer with the variety of the forms of artist's being in the repetition of seasons. The video which was also there to create some motion in the show was repetition escaping repetition. To me who has for years followed Bijan's works very closely, Icarus Dream collection had, as ever, something else to express, something hidden under the visible layer. Bijan has found his way of communication through the collections of plastic arts. He is not bound to the order of calendars or years in creating a work or a collection, as a result, he is not forced to setting up exhibitions or to being seen. He has found an aesthetic form for his thought and ideas which at the the present has no other choice but displaying them in the galleries. Therefore being Bijan's companion in conversation is in itself a great show for me and each time seeing his new works, imagining the thought , fills me with enthusiasm.
Existence is a grand show for Bijan and painting are the words with which he composes his poetry. Here the word poetry refers exactly to the classical nature of poetry. Despite my likes or dislikes, Icarus's Dream has had a special significance in the evolution of the artist's creation because, contrary to the title of the exhibition, we are not faced with the dream of the artist. He secretly discloses his secret. More than once in the ups and downs
of his life Bijan has reached to the final point of a period and has been born in a different world. He returns to his birthplace leaving behind a high ranking management position in international institutions in the United States and flourishes in the position of a full time artist. More than once he has done this to himself as well as to us. He is not static in his works, either. He constatnly experiences, constantly understands and constantly searches.
Each figure in Icarus's Dreams is, in fact, one single body that twists and turns to come out of the uterus and be born. Icarus's Dream was the display of birth; a birth that so painfully led to the departure of the artist from his own cliche. Icarus's Dream was a passage beyond oneself, a passage that made an empty cliche on the figure of the artist.