Rokni Haerizadeh isolates still and moving images from news media and transforms them with expressive painterly gestures into scenes of grotesque fantasy and ribald humor. “Fictionville” (2009–ongoing), Haerizadeh’s recent series of videos and works on paper, borrows its title from the influential 1968 play City of Tales by the Iranian writer Bijan Mofid, which used the structure of folktales to offer strident political and social commentary. Haerizadeh couches his own critique of power in the form of nightmarish fairy tales. To create each of his works, the artist prints thousands of sequential stills from YouTube videos of media broadcasts. He then proceeds to paint on each printout, animating the landscapes and morphing the soldiers and policemen, protesters and bystanders, politicians and celebrities, and even the news broadcasters narrating the events into half-human, half-animal hybrids.
“Here and Elsewhere" is on view through September 28.