Facts and Illusions in london

video still by Hamed Sahihi
video still by Hamed Sahihi


Facts and Illusions

An Exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Video Art in London:
Henry Moore Gallery, Royal College of Art, London,
15-17th October 2009
Admission Free
Opening times 10am – 8pm

Magic of Persia is presenting a pioneering and unique exhibition of video work by 14 Iranian artists, in the RCA’s Henry Moore Gallery. Curated by Dr. Sami Azar, former director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the show is the first time that contemporary Iranian video artists have been shown on such a scale in London. Established names such as Farideh Lashai and Avish Khebrezadeh, will be displayed alongside younger video artists, providing a great opportunity to view the diversity of current Iranian video art.

The 14 Video Artists are:

Mania Akbari
Parastoo Forouhar
Shahab Fotouhi
Rodin Hamidi
Behnam Kamrani
Simin Keramati
Avish Khebrezadeh
Khosro Khosravi
Farideh Lashai
Mandana Moghadam
Malekeh Nayiny
Neda Razavipour
Hamid Sahihi
Rozita Sharafjahan


Hilger Brot Kunsthalle presents The Promise of Loss.

Mandana Moghaddam - installation view Sara's Paradise, 2009
Mandana Moghaddam - installation view Sara's Paradise, 2009

Hilger Brot Kunsthalle presents The Promise of Loss.

The Promise of Loss.
A Contemporary Index of Iran.
Curator: Shaheen Merali

Living as we all do in an imperfect world, where the remainders of the past fall away or return to haunt our creative contemporaries, the exhibition is a consolidation of many dashed hopes, a desire to build a shrine as well as to plant trees in the campus condemned to destruction. The artists enable both a reading of the situation and encouragement to cross the distance where the bitterness of loss reigns within the national moral.

The exhibition The Promise of Loss is organized to mine the huge ground of Iran. The connection of expertise to experience, the rhythm of its measures and the constancy of the artistic gaze into its shadows have made listening to the artists’ interpretations more urgent.

Mandana Moghaddam’s installation Sara’s Paradise (2009) is an ode to the time-honored place in the cemetery of Behesht e Zahra, Tehran, where the fate of the martyrs from the Iraq-Iran war that claimed over 800,000 young lives are commemorated. The place, as seen in the installation, is a gory fountain of red water continuously bleeding into the world. The source of the blood is the martyrs and their families who encouraged holy participation to the bitter end, lured by a promise of a place in paradise.

The exhibition will be curated in five sections:
a) Beyond Iran and near Tehran: Peyman Hooshmandzadeh and Mandana Moghaddam.
b) Graphic, unfolding tributaries: Parastou Forouhar, Sara Rahbar and Neda Razavipour.
c) Responses to legacies: Samira Abbassy, Babak Golkar, Amin Nourani, Behrang Samadzadegan and Jinoos Taghizadeh.
d) The main-melancholia: Iman Afsarian, Shahram Entekhabi, Abbas Kowsari and Rozita Sharafjahan.
e) Re-imaging the revolution: Masoumeh Bakhtiyari, Asgar/Gabriel, Shadi Ghadirian and Leila Pazooki.
(Text by Shaheen Merali).

For further information please contact the gallery: ernst.hilger@hilger.at

The Dada Disgust: A Medical Profile*

As Doctor Prescribed
Amirali Ghasemi / Hamed Sahihi
July 2009
Vocals: Nazli Bodaghi
Sound recording: Soheil Peyghambari
Recorded at Kargadan Studio
Makeup and photography: Golrokh Boroumandi
Music by: Martin Shamounpour

The Dada Disgust: A Medical Profile*

Bavand Behpoor – 27 July 2009

‘…[C]ruel with myself… .’
—Antonin Artaud

‘The exhibition is disgusting’, visitors would say. ‘And it is probably the most powerful thing he has ever done,’ they would add. [Of course, he hadn’t done it. It had been done to him, or, in certain cases, he had himself exposed to it.] To make it short: there was no doubt that Amir Ali Ghasemi’s exhibition at Azad Art Gallery was powerfully disgusting.
As a visitor, I personally take no pleasure in being disgusted. Generally, what I expect from artistic encounter is not so much about ‘being moved’, rather about seeing a clever ‘move’ on behalf of the artist. There would have been little sense, and probably even less art, in ‘AmirAli’s Medical Profile’ if it was less clever than moving.
The exhibition, in most part, simply documents the medical history of the artist in an objective manner. This is done with a scientific accuracy endowing the work with a solemn bitterness. No matter how much self-pity is intermingled, the works raging from videos to photographs, to narrative texts and interactive installations all testify to an ‘objective’ and ‘undeniable’ agony experienced through the processes they portray. They range from ‘facial irritations caused by being exposed to sever air pollution and floating dust’ to a picture of a broken left tumb to a Salbutamol spray to ‘nine metal objects in platinum including one main part with nine holes and eight screws installed on the right leg’s bone during 1993-4’ to ‘wounds and irritations on the left art caused by reactions to smoking and consuming hot potato chips, 16 July 2009’ and the like. The presentation of the works is sincere but careful and well thought of. The interactive shelves filled with objects considered irritating or disgusting to the artist, do not qualify for a kind ‘presentation’, they ‘perform’.
As a kind of self-portraiture and at least on the surface, the work is far from being narcissist. The artist happily engages in a brutal destruction of a social image we normally expect to be ‘healthy’, ‘lively’ and ‘coherent’. But fortunately, this is not what the work is all about: it does not try to seek compassion as documentary or journalistic photography might do: there is nothing to be done about what is portrayed. There is nobody to blame but life. All that is gathered in this one person could have happened separately to anyone of us. And it actually has. It is not a call for help: in certain cases, the artist has voluntarily exposed himself to a risk, turning photographs into documents of performances, which, instead of probing the limits of physical tolerance, portray the excessive vulnerability of ‘this’ single body.
While nothing is fictional here, the narrative texts documenting the events are extremely performative.  The artist considers them not only a part of the exhibition, but rather an end to it, ‘I wanted to write them, so I made up this exhibition.’ While attempting in their way of writing to portray the harshness of a situation, they carefully limit themselves to the medical history they narrate. They contend themselves in saying, ‘it happened and it was so bad’ but all the same, they convey there is something very inhumane about this simple and apparently neutral way of saying it. It is as if the artist/author is addressing a coroner at a court session where every bit of human attention is exchanged with bits of evidence.
All this would have not been so meaningful if presented in a different location and to a different audience: it would have not been the same exhibition outside Tehran and Azad Art Gallery, an art gallery famous for its courageous management which dares to host most politically charged contemporary art exhibitions of today’s Iranian art scene. It is in this troubled city with a boiling political atmosphere that the true meaning of the exhibition unfolds: it is not a work of someone like Paul McCarthy, a master of disgust, humiliating the healthy-wealthy modern subject of a consumerist capitalist society, quite the contrary, it is an exposition of sheer vulnerability of a human body that only finds the freedom of criticizing infliction of pain upon bodies when it is presented in a greater generality. Thus, it is not an exhibition only about ‘now’ and ‘here’: it is about thirty years of history that the artist and his generation have experienced which has left them alone with a sort of ‘dada disgust’. It is about a ‘wrong life that cannot be lived correctly’, as Adorno would have had it, which we tried to live.
So there it is, a powerfully disgusting exhibition nurturing on an urge probably located at the intersection of Artaud and Rimbaud: trying to be cruel to one’s self in portraying himself while at the same time implicity stating that ‘I is the Other’.
* ‘Amir Ali’s Medical Profile’ was held at Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, from 24th till 29th July 2009. Further info and images of the work can be found at www.azadartgalery.com and the artist’s personal website:

Risk Of Color at Aaran Gallery

Exhibition at Aaran Gallery
Exhibition at Aaran Gallery

Risk Of Color
Opening at Aaran Gallery Tehran, Monday, 7th September.

Sculptures by :
Maryam Amini – Hell Berent – Fariba Farghadani – Shantia Zakerameli And Masoud Mousavizade.
The Dutch – Iranian Ceramic Project ( ekwc ) 2008.

In 2004 China Celebrated the production of the first porcelain piece about 1000 years ago. In the same year, The European Ceramic Work Center ( ekwc) started a series of Annual projects that focused on ceramic and collaborated with other countries such as China, Senegal, Morocco, and Brazil.
Then came the turn for Iran, with its long-standing tradition of ceramic and architecture.
A group of Iranian Artists was chosen by Hella Berent, herself a visual artist and a participant of previous projects at ekwc , to participate in a 3 months residency program in the Netherlands.
The wonderful pieces that were created during this program are now in display at Aaran Gallery.

Aaran Art Gallery. Tehran.
No 12 dey street. North Kheradmand ave.
Tel +9821 88829086- 9

Inside Teheran Out – artistic positions on the metropolis

Inside Teheran Out

Inside Teheran Out

Artistic positions on the metropolis
Opening Reception: September 12, 2009, 5 p.m.

Mehraneh Atashi
Mahmoud Bakhshi-Moakhar
Samira Eskandarfar
Ghazaleh Hedayat
Meysam Mahfouz
Mehran Mohajer
Neda Razavipour
Hamed Sahihi
Rozita Sharafjahan

Thirty years have passed since the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Every four years the elections for presidency give reason to hope for reform. But since Juni 2009 the iranian regime shows the world public cleary that they are going to approach with violence against every opposition. Therefore now latest news about Iran fill the front pages of international newspapers. But Iran is a dictatorship for a long time, and the consequences are strongly reflected by contemporary iranian artist. This appears in the videos, photographies, drawings and installations since 2007 that the exhibition of Forum Schlossplatz is going to display. But these pieces point strongly on other, important moments: of normalcy and beauty, required yesterday, and required today to imagine the future. Teheran is a city where people live, in defiance of what is reported in the west. This is exemplified by the photographs of Mehraneh Atashi, Masoumeh Bakhtiary, Minoo Emami, Samira Eskandarfar, Hamed Sahihi und Mohamad Mehdi Tabatabaie, artists who live in Teheran and show us to their ways and places of workaday life. Advice for Sepember 17, 2009: Reflexions on the art scene of Tehran by Rozita Sharafjahan (Teheran) and Parastou Forouhar (Frankfurt a.M./Tehran), moderated by Susann Wintsch.
Inside Iran Out is an exhibition curated by Susann Wintsch, TREIBSAND DVD Magazine on Contemporary Art, for Forum Schlossplatz in Aarau.

FORUM SCHLOSSPLATZ Laurenzenvorstadt 3,
5000 Aarau
T 0041 (0)62 822 65 11

Erfan Abdi at Assar art Gallery

Accurate Information on the Exact Number of Killed in this Accident is not yet at Hand
Accurate Information on the Exact Number of Killed in this Accident is not yet at Hand

“Accurate Information on the Exact Number of Casualties in this Accident is not yet at Hand” is the latest video installation by Erfan Abdi is now on view at Assar Art Gallery along with a handful of well-known artists in 101: Oil and its Aftermath – Politics, Modernism, Society, Environment.

The installation fills the small entrance hall of the gallery, a small TV is surrounded last objects in the dark which seems to be oil barrels in lit up by the light coming from the video which only lasts 2 minutes and yes, I’m not going to tell you and you should see it for yourself!

Other interesting pieces are there, worths mentioning are “No Comment” an installation from Mohammad Ghazali & Soheil Afshar, also Arash Hanaei’s lightboxes which read “How to Engage in Dialogue” and finally “Open Seas” a video by Behrang Samadzadegan which has been made for the 5th Gyumri biennial (2006 Armenia) and featured in Parkingallery’s 2 previous projects Limited Access (2007) and Conscious in Coma (2007) Istanbul.

The show also includes one of the latest pieces from Mahmoud Bakhshi’s Industrial revolution, “Mother of Nation” and A4 printed paper next to it reads: unfortunately the work is not turned on due to a large number of visitors might show up at the opening!

for more information please see the exhibition page here from the Digital Assar website.

Irrelevant Conclusion and comment: Don’t get so excited to go to every opening and visit the show later or you might regret it! but generally, in many galleries which are not used to show new media works in Tehran, it’s the contrary! Everything is prepared for the opening even with an hour delay, and during the visiting hours the other day, you should ask someone to turn on the videos/sounds for you!

Limited Access II …. Save The Date 30th of Oct

Limited Access 2
Limited Access 2


The 2009 International edition of  Parkingallery’s successful project LIMITED ACCESS (Azad Art Gallery, March 2007), will be heading Azad Art Gallery in early November, 2009. This year the project includes internationally curated video screening, plus special events showcasing  the latest New Media, Sound Art and Performance projects from Tehran.


Series of events, video screenings, hearing sessions and performances from Tehran and elsewhere
Organized by Parkingallery in collaboration with Azad Art Gallery and Mooweex

Azad Art Gallery

No 5, Salmas Square, Golha Square, Tehran
30 October – 4 November 2009
Daily Visiting Hours: Fri – Thurs 4-8 pm
Opening night and performances: Friday 30 October, 4-8 pm

video screenings curated by

Miha Colner / Ida Hirsenfelder (Ljubljana/SL)
Amirali Ghasemi (Tehran/IR)
Bita Razavi (Helsinki/FI)
Sarah Rifky (Cairo/EG)
Shirin Sabahi (Malmo/SE)
Rozita Sharafjahan (Tehran/IR)

plus a special screening from Mooweex Archive
selected by Arash Khakpour (Tehran/IR)

Further details will be announced soon.

Independent art space for new media | Tehran | Iran