Born in 1974 in Tehran (Iran)
Lives and works in Paris
Exile, the downgrading of social status, the calling into question of her identity, Hanieh has been through it all, as a child, when the Iranian revolution rattled the comfort of a family of lawyers.
In Paris, she has sketched out a double culture, marrying the lapis-lazuli of Persia with the blue of France. Love, at first sight, occurred with Rose Issa, the principal trailblazer of the contemporary Arab and Iranian scene, and has enabled her to be included in numerous private collections, as well as that of the British Museum.
Hanieh Delecroix signs her works with her first name and a full stop.
Like a little note left conspicuously on the kitchen table or on a pillow, a deferred tenderness addressed to the other – husband, child, friend, or an imaginary correspondent. From her former practice as a psychologist, Hanieh has retained the idea of an encounter between two unconscious states.
‘The truth is not in my possession; I impose nothing,’ she says. With her young patients, Hanieh would weave together bonds of tenderness. The sole means of aiding them to live with their burden of memories, to free them. An artist and video producer, she once again dares this spiritual complicity with the viewer, who will have the opportunity to take a look at one of her all too human messages so as not to resonate with our deepest hurts. One remembers the words chosen by Albertine de Galbert to present her exhibition, ‘The Right Distance,’: ‘often devalued, because considered to be the prerogative of children, the aged and women – the weak, in short – tenderness is, however, a great strength of resilience when faced with acts of violence carried out against the body and the mind.’ The universe of Hanieh Delecroix is full of scars, bruises to the soul, black holes of submerged pain, and dark clarity. If her work is sensitive, it is because she has first of all taken the metaphorical path, barefooted over broken glass, which gave her the right to admit her frailties.
An artist, she has chosen to cherish her sorrows – her words. She embraces, she takes in her arms, she intones in French and in Persian, her native language, these words which were capable of harming her and which torment her still.
The thoughts which haunt her, she places them down on small sheets of paper, pebbles, balloons, like so many messages in a bottle without a bottle, which one discovers without getting one’s feet wet. Her flaws, of that there is no doubt, encounter the flaws of others to build up a silent dialogue.
In one scene from the film* she has devoted to her father, Hanieh shows a white-haired man who, having forgotten everything, nevertheless remembers the essential, the lines of verse from a poem he himself has composed, and which say it all: ‘Let’s go and see together.’ One memory masks another memory, screens it – Freud, inevitably Freud.
Into her griefs and those of others, Hanieh thus dips the nib of her pen. To them, she dedicates her life to an artistic practice where the paper evokes the skin, the delicate, oh so fragile, a container of this treasure one calls the stuff of humanity. With Joyce Mansour, she has taken a journey of exploration, admiring how the rebel had contained her screams, her heartaches, and, to be frank, her madness, in an envelope of words.
A Balzac novel, Louis Lambert, considered to be partially autobiographical, written in the first person, whispered to her the idea of a line of thought split in two, which she has developed rather than illustrated on the unfolded pages of an accordion book.
Her most recent works, using tracing paper, extend research carried out on sheets containing almost translucent Japanese fibres (Above All, 98x20,000cm, 2019), and then on linen. Self-effacement, always.
At times the figures traced on acrylic and the material which carries them seem to disappear simultaneously, like in a cinema cross-dissolve which leaves the viewer with nothing more than an impression. An emotion. A new memory that will accompany them for the continuation of the journey. In Hanieh’s work, there is the gift and the counter-gift. The artist is not up above but at the same height, heart against heart, dream against the dream. The repetition of the word Love, in its Christian sense, evidently, acts as a balm to appease our primitive terrors. The piece by Hanieh Delecroix, which is exhibited at the British Museum, more than any other, doubtless, evokes at one and the same time the lifelines on the palm of a hand and repeats intoning.
In her workshop, open to the sounds of the house and the playground of the school next door, Hanieh also imagines minimal installations. With the patience of a hunter cobbling together her trap, or of a prankster exulting in advance over her next triumph, she prepares the apparatus which will bifurcate the too tranquil line of thought. The pleasure principle is not only the title of one of her performances – it is the serious remit of monastic work. In the space of a single moment, the work calls to mind a fragrance, an emotion, a buried thought. The smiles which then materialise thus often express joy and distress combined. It is up to each of us to decide if the black should prevail or the blue.
The black, the blue. Amongst others, a meeting with Takesada Matsutani, searching for her ‘interior image’, gave Hanieh the daring to invent her own range of gestures. Perhaps there is also something of Lee Ufan in the vertiginous transparencies, and of Jean Dupuy, with his graffiti graphology and his double-meaning poetry.
Unhesitatingly, she follows in the same vein identified by Catherine Grenier in her essay, ‘The Revenge of Emotions’: ‘trauma, Vanity, the grotesque, animality, immaturity are zones of exploration into which art invites us to reconnect with a form of sensitive understanding: poignant understanding.
That which liberates an emotional resonance is the affirmation of human beings in their imperfection, in their finiteness.’
In searching to pierce mysteries, Hanieh, fully aware of what she is doing, creates new ones, extending the thread of life. »
- ‘Mon petit papa fait des cauchemars’, Actes Sud Junior, 2018
- ‘Oh ! Un petit frère’, Oboo publishers, 2012
- ‘À travers elles’, broadcast on Radio France in March, 2010
- Contributing to the writing of the ‘Le mini Festin’ collection, Epingle à nourrice publishers, 2010
- Postgraduate diploma in clinical and cognitive psychology and a Master's in psychology.
- Cognitive and emotional processes at the University of Paris, Nanterre.
- Erasmus programme at the University of Surrey, England.
- Doctorate level at LASI (Laboratoire des Atteintes Somatiques et Identitaires).
Hanieh has worked in hospitals as a clinical psychologist and a psychotherapist specialising in childhood and adolescence as well as in adults suffering from chronic illnesses.
- ‘Communications Divines’ solo show at La Belle Hortense, September 2 – September 15, 2019
- ‘Pulse’ solo show at the Haleh Gallery, March 2 – March 11, 2018, Munich, Germany
‘The Pleasure Principle’ solo show at the University of Paris X Nanterre, February17, 2018, Nanterre, France
- ‘From a Psychic envelope to an Art envelope’ solo show and lecture at Asia House, January 10 – February 23, 2017, London, England
- Tenderness’ solo show at the Mamia Bretesche gallery, October 6 – 30,
- ‘Stone solo show at the Regard Sud gallery, January 8 – April 30, 2015, Lyon, France
- ‘Into the Blue’ at the Marco Ricco gallery, August 21- September 30, Calvi, Corsica, France
- ‘Lifeline’ solo show at Rose Issa Projects, November 22 – December 29, London, UK
- ‘You-skin’ solo show at the Afaprod gallery, June 2012, Paris, France
- ‘Disobedient’ group show at the Haleh Gallery, 10 November – 31 January 2019, Munich, Germany
- ‘OVNI Objectif vidéo Nice,’ Video, ‘Panser Joyce à mi-maux’ and ‘Ydegari,’ November 24 and 25, 2018, OVNI festival, Nice, France
- ‘Low tide group show, ‘Interpretation’ installation, on the Trouville beach, September 8, 2018
- ‘Up all night in Paris’ with the Paris City Hall, October 2017, Paris, France
- ‘The night with delights, the night of museums’ at the Maison de Balzac, May 20, 2017, with the Ministry of Culture
- ‘Panser Joyce à mi-max and ‘Navazesh’ video projections, at the Freud Museum, February 26, 2017, London UK
- ‘The Writing of Art’ with the Rose Issa Projects gallery, October 21 – November 5, 2016, with the Nour Festival of Art, Ismaili Centre, London, UK
- ‘Full stop, the new line’ at the Mamia Bretesche gallery, April 28 – May 20, 2016, Paris, France
- ‘Blue Gold’ at the Etemad Gallery, April 22 – May 10, 2016, Tehran, Iran
- ‘Joyce Mansour and around’ at the Sophie Scheidecker gallery. October 17 – December 20, 2015, Paris, France
- ‘Panser Joyce à mi-max at the Beirut Art Fair, Golestan Gallery, September 15 – 18, 2015, Beirut, Lebanon
- ‘Joyce Mansour’ Quai Branly Museum, November 17 – February 1, 2015, Paris, France
- ‘Encounter’ City Hall of the 1st arrondissement, October 17 – 19, 2014, Paris, France