BEYOND THE EXHIBIT
CONTEXTUALISING EMERGING IRANIAN ARTISTS
Opening Friday, March 2nd, 18:00
The exhibition will be opened by the curators.
Pre-opening conversation at 17:00
'Impacts on the Iran art scene today'
The panel will be attended by the curator team Shahram Entekhabi and Asieh Salimian (from Factory TT Berlin / Tehran); Lise Rakner, Professor Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute and Chair of The Rafto Prize Committee. As a political scientist she is focusing on the issues of democratization and human rights; Toril Hansen from PEN Vestlandet; Malin Barth, Director of Kunsthall 3.14.
The conversation starts with a brief presentation of PEN, by members of PEN Vestlandet.
The exhibition is curated by:
Shahram Entekhabi and Asieh Salimian (Factory TT Berlin/Teheran*)
Negar (Zahra) Alemzade Gorji
Sara Hosseini Sefiddashti
In today's globalized world, the need for cultural understanding and constructive relationships between countries and cultures is perhaps more important than ever. Cultural institutions should be agents of social change. This development raises an important question: Can we call the arts a form of "soft power" when they are used to achieve other goals (military, economic, geopolitical)? 'Soft power' society, gives room for cooperation, mutual understanding, and exchange.
Beyond the Exhibit: Contextualizing Emerging Iranian Artists focus on the present and the future through the artists` search for identity. They examine the effect and influence of the decades-long embargo and subsequent domestic destabilization in the country. Topics such as real living conditions in an Islamic republic are all part of the artistic investigation.
Relevant to the artis´ work is the Belgian philosopher Isabelle Stenger's thoughts about the "the art of paying attention." It is an emphasis on how artists focus on the daily life, the art of living in focus, which means taking care of our commons and common ground. Gestures are more than language, the law (on which the nation and the nation-state are based) is not equal to power, and the state does not define metaphysics. Artistic means can be non-representational. Artists have and claim a different power.
In Beyond the Exhibit: Contextualizing Emerging Iranian Artists, the curators introduce young Iranian artists born after the Islamic Revolution of 1978/1979. They are located in Teheran as well as other cities such as in Karaj, Kerman, and Isfahan.
Negar (Zahra) Alemzade Gorji is questioning stereotypical gender roles for women in traditional societies in her video installations and paintings. In her work Split, 2017, she is searching for a balance within the domestic–public dichotomy, to find her place and her identity in that balance. In the work Transformation, Negar Alemzade Gorji has drawn filigree, upward-striving bundles of figures on a white shroud that could be flowers, but also human bodies. Death, as the composition could be interpreted, is certain. With a humorous and personal approach, Mustafa Choobtarash (Dezful) reflects in his installations and paintings Iranian history. Fahimeh Haghighi lives in Isfahan and works as a teacher with marginalized children at the margins of society, to whom she gives a face in her paintings. Sarah Hosseini Sefiddashti is from Isfahan's photorealistic paintings deals with the situation of women in public places, especially with a large number of acid attacks in Isfahan and their psycho-social impact on society. In his drawings and installations, Mehrdad Jafari focuses on decision-making processes related to migration. In his spatial experiments in the medium of painting, Alireza Nekouei deals with isolation and exclusion in society. Roohangiz Safarinezhad leads a consumer-critical discourse and addresses the impact of industrial society on the environment. The photographic works of Farzin Shadmehr show women beyond traditional role models: athletes and the disabled. Shahryar Rezaei from the desert town of Kerman works on the subject of rural depopulation and migration. Also works by Shaghayegh Ahmadian, Negar Ghiamat and Rene Saheb will be on display.
All the artists are accompanied by video interviews. These video clips shed light on the respective artistic career, the social position of the artist, the conditions of production and their themes.
Factory TT Berlin/Tehran encourages encounters of international intellectuals, scholars and the public with emerging Iranian artists – to create possibilities to produce new bodies of work and to respond to cultural, economic, and social contexts as an essential foundation for a further development of contemporary art in Iran. Factory TT Berlin/Tehran challenges the Iranian art scenes status quo. It was initiated in 2015 by Shahram Entekhabi and Asieh Salimian.
Beyond the Exhibit I: Contextualizing Emerging Iranian Artists where first featured at Gallery Katharina Maria Raab in Berlin earlier this year. An extended version is on view at Kunsthall 3.14 in Bergen.
* Factory TT Berlin/Tehran was initiated 2016 by Shahram Entekhabi and Asieh Salimian as an art education platform. After a series of actions, performances, and workshops in various locations in Iran, Factory TT Tehran/Berlin 2017 realized the large exhibition project Copy/Paste with 13 international artists in Tehran and Isfahan in 2017. In the same year Factory, TT Berlin/Tehran accomplished the first art festival Tabdil/Tolid (Farsi for „to convert“, „to generate“) in the public space of the city of Ardabil in Northwestern Iran. The project focuses on the aspects of ecology and sustainability and what has been achieved with the participation of local artists and the public in cooperation with the National Environmental Authority.