Suspend your disbelief and suit up in the ceremonial vest of a Lieutenant Aurelio Swimm—you’ll need it to venture through the desolate, chemical wasteland of Laleh Khorramian’s futuristic sci-fi fantasy on the planet of M-GOLIS. Once inhabited and yet now ravaged by chemical waste, the planet becomes a toxic prison for Khorramian’s protagonist—Lt. Swimm—who remediates the land by planting mushroom spores (and soon reaping the kaleidoscopic, hallucinogenic side-effects).
Inside her booth at Art Basel, Khorramian depicts Lt. Swimm’s transformation from human to mutation, taking the viewer through a vicarious, multimedia retelling of a surrogate world. Outstretch a daring hand to the handle of an ordinary refrigerator; inside, you’ll be met with Communication Shrine, an interactive installation housed within the fridge complete with a three-channel video installation—in short, Swimm’s communication portal to the Earth (watch one of the three films, at right).
Today, the Iranian artist lives and works in New York, but perhaps her affinity for imagined worlds began during childhood when crafting theme-park props for MGM Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. With early cognizance of the real vs. hyperreal, Khorramian has explored these themes in her artistic practice ever since (and for a peek at her process, check out EXIT. THE WAY IN IS THE WAY OUT, at right, a reproduction of an actual door from the artist’s studio which documents her process through daily ephemera.)
Photograph of Laleh in her studio courtesy of Chris Austin and The Third Line.