Tag Archives: Exhibitions

“Candlelight And Its Side Effects” an Interactive work by Payman Abbasian

we are very happy to present you “Candlelight And Its Side Effects”
documentation of the new Interactive Video Installation by Payman Abbasian for parkingallery’s Limited Access II.
This is how Payman himself describes his works:

I’ve been analyzing the video from a web-cam to find the highest concentration of brightness, then I use it as an starting point to apply/add computer generated fluid waves and particles to it as if it’s coming out of the fire, I found it an interesting idea to create an live interactive experience, using processing as its programming environment that’s why I decided to called it like this.

NOISE at Sfeir-Semler Beirut

Curated by Negar Azimi and Babak Radboy for Bidoun
December 11, 2009 – February 6, 2010


BEIRUT – From the din of cultural initiatives, exhibitions, symposia, biennials, group shows, and surveys mounted to confront, mediate, meditate, cross-pollinate, advocate, decry, valorize, deny, expose, represent, reconsider, reappraise, reify, or, better yet, to re-unveil what it means to make, show, and sell art in the Middle East, Bidoun magazine responds with NOISE, an exhibition opening December 9 at the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut.

Between the first generation of post-9/11 cultural survey shows and the reflexive gymnastics of the next generation—which aimed to problematize the legitimacy of yet another regional survey while managing, miraculously, inevitably, to deliver one—Bidoun attempts to close its eyes and tune its ears to the white noise of the white cube, wondering how much it matters which city, region, country, or peoples surround it.

As it happens, it does matter, but perhaps not in ways expected. Rather than curating works to illustrate problems plucked from a readymade critical lexicon, NOISE attempts to let these problems arise from, and give rise to, the works themselves, opening the door to the unexpected, and even to the uninvited. The exhibition’s point of departure is the space itself. Its location in Beirut gives it its critical acoustics, but it retains the conceited platonic generality of any clean post-industrial art space, anywhere in the world.

Included in the show are a number of special commissions. A text piece by Lawrence Weiner runs along the gallery’s windows facing the Dora Highway. On the roof, a large neon sign by Vartan Avakian spells out SFEIR-SEMLER (the gallery was previously unmarked) in Devangari script, facing the newly emigrated Asian population in the neighborhood below.

In one room of the gallery hang the unsold works of Syrian modernist painter Marwan from a retrospective earlier in the year. The room, housing the modernist works, is dominated by an obtrusive white cube, leaving the paintings impossible to view except at an uncomfortably close proximity. Alongside a series of photorealist paintings of exhibition catalogs from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, artist Steven Baldi has sealed off one entire side of the gallery with a glass wall, forcing visitors to retrace their steps to see the show in its entirety. Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck and Media Farzin contribute a sculptural installation that tells the story of a cultural moment born of the Cold War that continues to have eerie resonance today. And Babak Radboy has installed a section of gallery wall on loan from the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York, along with a photograph of the corresponding hole left by its removal.

Also included is a new series of photographs by Walead Beshty printed from film damaged as it passed through Beirut’s airport security, as well as glass and copper sculptures destroyed in shipping, and a cartographic ping-pong table by Rayyane Tabet that traces the strange contours of a cultural exchange between an American drinking game and one of Lebanon’s most famous explosions.

Scattered throughout the space are a series of polaroids by Haris Epaminonda taken from the insides of obscure books and magazines, alongside an enigmatic video piece.

Yoshua Okon presents one and a half videos on the state of cultural production in his native Mexico, and Mounira Al Solh and Bassam Ramlawi make their painting debuts.

Also making her exhibition debut is gallerist Andrée Sfeir, as herself.

For more information contact Nathalie Khoury or Peter Currie at beirut@sfeir-semler.com.

Limited Access II at Azad Gallery Tehran



Organized by Parkingallery in collaboration with Azad Art Gallery and Mooweex.com

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

Curated by
Miha Colner / Ida Hirsenfelder (Ljubljana/SL) | Amirali Ghasemi (Parkingallery/Tehran) | Arash Khakpour (Mooweex/Tehran) | Bita Razavi (Helsinki/FI) |Sarah Rifky (Cairo/EG) | Shirin Sabahi (Malmo/SE) | Rozita Sharafjahan (Azad Art Gallery/IR)

Access to what? What limitations?

LIMITED ACCESS sounds like a disappointing title for a project, but in fact, it’s not really true, it has a kind of ambiguity within it, which is a characteristic of Parkingallery projects. One should ask: “Access to what?” and “What limitations?”
In the past decade, Iranian Contemporary art and especially New Media Arts have been through many ups and downs, either in the time which was temporarily celebrated by the authorities and officials, by a considerable budget and space, without necessarily establishing a constant and appropriate structure for its survival in future, or when it visibly slowed down its development at least outside of the unofficial and private circles of artists in the recent years. And as we speak the number of curators and art lovers who are frequently visiting Tehran, for various reasons and intentions is highly increasing, especially now when the international Media zoomed more than ever, on Iran. The Art Market despite recent hiccups is heating up by its discoveries of middle eastern and Iranian art shows from LA to Dubai, filled with repetitive names of superstars. Meanwhile, there is an independent creative scene that is emerging and is undoubtedly hard to track and describe, as its vibrancy and its continuity lie in its anonymity. In the absence of an inclusive reference for proper research on multi fragmented Tehran art scene, most of the attempts which have been done to map and document the scene, remained unfinished and to some degree clueless because of the intentional shifts toward the art market and/or falling into the traps of tribal self-promotional concerns of few.

LIMITED ACCESS, therefore, tries to gather and reconnect the artists from all disciplines to each other and reestablish their link with their emerging audience. As we believe that what is labeled and being marketed as “Iranian contemporary art” to the art world is quite known and accessible despite all propaganda, as many individuals and collectives are paying their dues for its exposure and growth internationally, even by conflicting objectives and means. What is really missing here is a local platform, which through its structure, experiments in New Media can be seen and discussed, beyond the closed circle of the artists practicing it.
As delayed echos of such phenomenon, often passing through mediums like the Internet, books, and other media might turn the viewer into a passive consumer rather than a critical observer.

These limitations could be caused by many factors, from the imposed sanctions to unofficial boycotts, to the emergence of market-oriented attitude among artists as a result of periodic temporary reception of Iranian art all around the world, beside as some others may put it, the fact that contemporary art is being rarely mentioned in the mainstream media, ignored to some extent and not supported anymore.  All these excuses are not enough to prevent us from taking the current moment for granted even if it would seem hopeless to many, and shape the future by observing and learning from it.

Amirali Ghasemi, Parkingallery Oct 2009

Jazire-ye Sargardani (The Wander Island)

(Video screening, Interactive installations, and a collection of experimental sound and music )
Curated by Amirali Ghasemi

Amin Talachian | Ronak Ghoseyri | Sara Abbasian | Negar Behbahani | Ehsan Behmanesh/ Arefeh Riahi | Ali Ettehad | Ayeh Rahimi | Amirali Mohebbinejad |  AR2+ ISIS | Arash Fayez | Nassrin Nasser | Elika Hedayat | Arash Khakpour/ Arash Radkiya | Amirali Navaee | Bijan Moosavi | Pedram Etemadi | Siavash Naghasbandi | Sona Safaei | Tala Madani | Azin Feizabadi | Sohrab Mostafavi Kashani | Mohammad Abbasi | Peyman Abbasian | Sohrab. M Kashani | Arash Salehi /Arash Razzazian | Nima Esmailpour |

Videos selected by Rozita Sharafjahan (Azad Art Gallery/IR)
Khosro Khosravi | Behnam Kamrani | Hamed Sahihi | Ghazaleh Hedayat | Samira Eskandarifar | Mohsen Rasoulov | Minou Iranpour | Setareh Jabbari | Elham Doust Haghighi | Farid Jafari Samarghandi

8513 hours in Helsinki

Curated by Bita Razavi

Eija-Liisa Ahtila | Sara Pfrommer | Katarzyna Miron | Stefan Riebel | Joonas Jokiranta | Maria Ylikoski | Linda Reif | Stefan Riebel | Gregoire Rousseau | Miina Hujala | Anna Nykyri | Hanna Marno and Leena Vahvelainen | Ewa Gorzna | Teemu Kivikangas

(one)self as (an)other

Curated by Sarah Rifky (Cairo/EG)

Sherif Elbendary | Hassan Khan | Mohamed Allam | Mohamed Nabil | Shady El Noshokaty | Hossam Elsawah | Laila Sami

Intelligent Systems

(installations / video / multimedia / documentation)
Curated by Miha Colner / Ida Hirsenfelder

Tanja Vujinovic | Maja Smrekar | Robertina Sebjanic | Borut Savski | Lada Cerar & Saso Sedlacek | Vladimir Ristic | son:DA & Erinc SeymenTomaz Furlan | Neven Korda | Saso Podgorsek | Marko Kovacic & Kolja Saksida | Ana Sluga | Jaka Zelelznikar

Whoever I Like Turns out to be a Weirdo, or Performative Narrations

(video screening)
Curated by Shirin Sabahi

Kevin Murphy | Tamar Guimarães | EllaKajsa Nordström | Henning Lundkuist | Stine Ofelia Kildevang | João Leonardo | Annette Stav Johansson | Maj Hasager | Wattanai Chanakot | Ana Bezelga | Kristina Kvalvik | Maria Lusitano Santos | Hanna Paulin | Hanna Sjöstrand | Lara Morais

“Photographic Practice” at Silkroad Gallery

Celebrating International Children’s Day
“Photographic Practice”

"Photographic Practice" at Silkroad Gallery
"Photographic Practice" at Silkroad Gallery

Poster by Farhad Fozouni

The Experience of Afghan Immigrant Girls
Nadia Parvani, Anita Sedighi, Rita Sedighi,
Shamaiel Sedighi, Arezu Abbasi, Parvin Abbasi,
Parvaneh Nazari, Mojgan Yaqoubi, Masoumeh Yaqoubi
Silk Road Gallery
Friday October 9th, 2009
4:00 to 8:00 PM
10 to 21 Oct. 2009
Sat. to Wed. from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Thurs. 5:00 to 8:00 PM

103, Lavasani (Farmanieh) St. Tehran, Iran

Fires in Forests, Bavand Behpoor on Melodie Zad

Fires in Forests

A note on Melodie Hosseinzadeh’s exhibition
at Azad Art Gallery, Tehran
by Bavand Behpoor

Tavakkoli Matches Co. annually produces 10 billion matchboxes with 300 workers. Each ordinary Tavakkoli matchbox contains 40 matchsticks. Tavakkoli Matches Co. annually produces 400 billion safety matches. Considering the fact that the company was established in Iran in 1917 at the end of the First World War and has been active for more than 90 years, it has produces thousands of billion safety matchsticks till now.

Tavakkoli Matches Co. can provide each living human being with 60 safety matchsticks per year.

On Wed. 29th July 2009 at 10:37 am Rasekhoon website affiliated with ‘Religious Donations Charity Organization’ reported under the title of ‘We have the Biggest Match Producing Company in the World’ quoting ‘Green Family Magazine’: ‘Today lighters have replaced matches. Large matchstick producing companies each produce certain kinds of matches. One produces fantasy matchsticks, the other fireplace matches, etc. But Tavakkoli Matches Co. is the only factory in the world that produces all these products. Mr. Tavakkoli says, “Nowadays each matchbox is sold for two dollars while Tavakkoli matches are sold for only 50 cents” and he adds with much pride that, “we are the largest most efficient and influential producer in the world”.’

On Tavakkoli matchboxes is either a picture of an animal or an advertisement. The animals portrayed on boxes are different in kind and have iconic qualities. Tavakkoli matches are a standard of our culture.

On the other side of matchboxes, Tavakkoli Matches Co. congratulates the victory of the Islamic revolution on 11th Feb. to the consumers. Since the matches are used throughout the year, it congratulates the victory all year long and the consumers think of it when they light the matchsticks.

Matches produced after 1844 are called safety matches, for early matches contained white phosphorus dangerous both to producers and consumers and would afflict them with phossy jaw or other bone disorders. At that time, the amount of white phosphorus in one box was enough for killing a human being.

Tavakkoli matches have been used throughout Iranian history for firing Reza Shah’s cannons, lighting Molotov cocktails, burning cinema screens, lighting cigarettes of soldiers, drug addicts and those sentenced to death, for setting oneself on fire, for lighting fire in forests, for setting cats on fire, for allowing kids entertain themselves during long afternoons, for lighting alcoholic lamps or setting garbage cans on fire. As such, it is no doubt the symbol of our national identity. Matchsticks are made of pinewood and their so-called sulfur is made of a mixture of 12 chemical elements attached to the stick with animal silicone.

The last point you need to know in order to enjoy the exhibition is some acquaintance with Vogue magazine and the art of illumination.

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:

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.