Transcendence (2014-15)

Aida began her Transcendence series in Paris on a month-long fellowship. These works contrast and magnify the senses of gain and loss that coexist in the experience of passing time. The impetus: to inquire into matter and what matters, to learn to un-ask that question only by having pursued it deeply, to transcend humanity’s monuments and boundaries like verdigris residue from bronze statues. In the Louvre, Aida encountered the ancient Persian Frieze of Archers, a brick panel of relief sculpture spanning over 15 x 12 feet (4.75 x 3.75 meters) that adorned the imperial capitol palace of King Darius I in Aida’s homeland 2,500 years ago. Its turquoise and gold glazing now as much faded as brilliant, this relic inspired Aida to appreciate that matter embodies energies, that these rise and recede as briefly as anonymous tides, and yet that the present moment persists. Returning to New York City, Aida resolved to focus on a kind of primary experience that Persian poet Sohrab Sepehri describes: “Words should be washed to become the wind itself, the rain itself.” The mixed media paintings of Transcendence are meditations on itselfness.