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Exhibitions

Solo Exhibition of Nasim Davari

Opening on 29th April 2022
On view until 13th May 2022

In this series, I have tried to envision images of the Heroes of Shahnameh. And I have used their stories because stories shape their faces. And then, the faces narrate their story and maybe even the faith that was in store for them. And this is how these characters came to be.
Tahmores jailed the Divs and then gave them a quarter, and they taught him language and writing.
Zahhak was kissed by Devil on the shoulders, which became the nest of snakes and fed the youth’s brains. He also took Shahrnaz and Arnavaz from Jamshid and killed them.
Gordafaraid, who wore men’s armor and fought Sohrab.
Deev Sefid, who was black and had white hair and fought with Rostam.
Fereydon, nurtured by Bormayeh in his youth, took his cow-shaped mace to fight Zahhak and jailed him, where he remains till now.
Zaal was an albino, so Simorgh brought him up, and Rostam was his son.
Rostam was mighty and proud and had Rakhsh. Rakhsh was white and red and knew how to slaughter Dragons.
Sohrab was the son of Rostam, and his inheritance was his father’s pride and armband. He searched for his father and was killed by his hand.
Siyavash, who walked through fire and fire, turned cold to affirm his declaration of innocence on account of the false accusation of Soudabeh.
Esfandyar, who was Invulnerable and passed through seven Ordeals, fought with Rostam in a vain attempt to become the king.
Nasim Davari

Curated by Akram Ahmadi Tavana

Opening at Aaran Projects on August 14th 2020

Curtain II
Curated by Akram Ahamdi Tavana
Featuring works by:
Mortez Momayez-Samira Alikhanzadeh- Yasmin Sinai-Nasim Davari- Mahsa Kheirkhah-Homayoun Sirizi-Parisa Taghipour-Hamed Jaberha-Parham Peyvandi

This year marks the Millennium of the passing ofEpic Poet of Persians, Hakim Abul Ghasem Ferdowsi, whose Shahnameh, The Book of Kings, is credited with preserving our language and Persian history. To mark this occasion, we are exhibiting works by nine artists, with diverse practices, as a continuation of a project that started five years ago. On March 4th, 2016, we held an exhibition titled Shahnameh, The Perpetual Narrative: A survey of the Impact of Shahnameh on modern and contemporary art of Iran, curated by Akram Ahmadi Tavana. The catalog’s foreword was by Dr.Firuza Melville and included works of twenty-two artists.
Shahnameh’s influence remains strong in the poetry and visual arts of Iran. The selection for this exhibition is merely a portion of this enduring fascination with thousands of verses recalling the glory and splendor as well as failures and defeats of Persians, to quote Shahrokh Meskoob, “the history of the victory of defeat.”

Solo Exhibition of Nasim Davari

Opening at Aaran Projects on 1st November 2019
On view until 18th November 2019

 In her adaptation of one of the best-known poems of Persia, The Conference of the Birds by Sufi Mystic poet Farid Uddin Attar, Nasim Davari evokes many layers of this masterpiece; exquisiteness, lyricisms, symbolism, and ingenuity. Using her magical brushes, she takes us on her own journey, along with the poet’s birds, to a higher otherworldly insight that reveals her wild and unequal imagination.
She tells the stories of Hoopoe, peacock, sparrow, dove, duck, nightingale, parrot, partridge, heron, owl, falcon…; thirty birds who set out on a hazardous journey to the faraway peaks of Mount Qaf, a mythical mountain that wraps around the earth, in search of their mysterious Simurgh, their king, to find out that they are the kings eventually.
The allegories in this set of paintings trigger memories deep within humans. While we may take flight together, the journey is different for each of us. The poem and these paintings touch on many issues of a postmodern life: individuality, coexistence, respect for values of self and others, the right to freedom, and the freedom of choice.
Through her wild imagination, Nasim Davari is able to transport us to her magical world. This is a study of self and others. A fanfare of fierce images and fantastical colors. She is a master painter and dreamer at her best. In this mystical and wild world artist speaks the language of birds, the divine language used by the initiated, the one used by Solomon to speak with birds so that those who can hear it will hear it.
She reminds us that the mundane world is passable and insignificant. It’s best not to try and explain this magical world but to float in the wonder she creates. Stepping away from these paintings, the world will become factual and mundane again.

Curated by Mina Feshangchi

Opening at Aaran Projects, on 22nd June 2018

Artists:
Mohamad Eskandari- Nasser Bakhshi- Asal Peyrovani- Nasim Davari- Faxteh Shamsian- Hadi Alijani- Meghdad Lorpour- Nogol Mazloumi- Roqayeh Najdi- Allahyar Najafi.

Memories both as an individual’s experience and as a collective one have a lasting effect on artists. ‎Memories are lived experiences of the artist with a direct impact on their psyche and soul. So it can be ‎said that what differentiates art from life is the immortality of art versus the transient quality of life.‎
In recent decades we have witnessed an increasing number of artists who drive inspiration from their ‎memories; bits and pieces of everyday life, and dreams and wishes. Censored memories, works of a ‎disclosing nature and picturing what artists have had to endure in their personal lives are more visible in ‎the art scene.‎
The essence of memories is closely linked with time. Henri Bergson argues that the true time, is the ‎time of our anguish and dejections, the time of regrets and impatience, and a time for our hopes and ‎thirst.‎
This exhibition attempts to display forgotten and remembered memories. A flash back, a retelling of a ‎story from past that has affected artists’ mind. Maybe a joyful memory of childhood, or an unfulfilled ‎love, or a flash back from a collective social memory which has been imprinted on the consciousness ‎of the artists.‎
Mina Feshangchi

Solo exhibition of Mohammad Eskandari

Opening at Aaran Projects on 23rd February 2018

The painterly narrative of Mohammad Eskandari is always laden with symbolism. In the new set of ‎works that include life size portraits of his friends, it is the figures that become the symbol; the symbol ‎of a brave generation that was born right after the revolution. Jumping, shouting, standing firm; ‎confidently reaching to touch the sky all the while defying gravity of the situation and the hardship they ‎have had to live with. Boxed in these canvases are a past that is unresolved and a future that is as ‎uncertain as it can be. The figures in these paintings trace the hopes and dreams of generations of ‎Iranians that have struggled to bring order to their lives, an objective that as time goes by seems more ‎like an illusion. But illusion is as true as a truth, even if it can only express partial or fractured truth. ‎
This is the brave face of Iran; the fallen and the raised, in circular runs, time after time, one can almost ‎hear them singing our beloved songs of freedom and resistance; generations of disillusioned Persians ‎but not the defeated.‎
In his amazing three-meter length canvas two different generations pass through the gates of “Azadi ‎Tower” (Liberty Tower), as if they are being baptized under its doom, right beneath the majestic Alborz ‎mountain range in Tehran, three symbols of city of Tehran, -heart of the country- come together to ‎create a breath taking, awe inspiring narration. And the little boy who is saddened and who is ‎frustrated, but he will rise up, as he ought to because For darkness to exist, there must be light.‎
The regular irregularity of our lives, the pain of Iran, and its illusionary dimensions are the undertone of ‎these paintings. Mohammad Eskandari’s soulful and dexterous practice and his ability in depicting ‎ecstasy and agony is exemplary. He has chosen to celebrate and salute his generation and like many of ‎his compatriots he pushes the boundaries in his everlasting search for “spring”, fluctuating in ‎permanent disorder and chaos but always insisting on hope.‎
We are constantly reminded of the fate of our legendry bird: The Phoenix who is believed to possess ‎the knowledge of all times, from ashes she rises to create wonderment, she plunges in to flames to be ‎purified, to rise again, every time stronger, every time mightier.‎
Nazila Noebashari

Allahyar Najafi

Opening at Aaran Gallery on 16th February 2018
On view until 2nd March 2018

Allahyar Najafi is an urban poet. He offers different interpretations to a collection of words; names of ‎places, digital signs and advertisements, reminding us the cities are made of words. The energy and ‎speed of the cities he has lived in has made their mark. The poet walks the streets of cities and through ‎lived experiences; he brings out the mundane in our everyday life. He collects scattered words in the ‎city to articulate his identity and to explain his existence within the concrete and brick walls of cities. ‎The excitements and frustrations of city life are fleeting moments and if not for urban poets who ‎record and sing these moments, perhaps we will have very little to explain ourselves by. In our modern ‎cities and the state of connectivity that we enjoy, we can easily be disconnected from our immediate ‎surroundings, if not for the effort of artists and writers who explore the new arenas and arcades and ‎create new memories for its citizens, we will probably not reconnect with our surroundings, at least ‎not in a meaningful way.‎
The energy of this city dweller brings together the mechanical as well as natural elements that is a ‎menagerie of the organic shapes and industrial forms; a multitude of layers that resembles urban life. ‎Through the layers of paint on lenticular sheets he opens a combination of windows, windows that ‎narrate only part of the story but together they create collective consciousness.‎
In the collage of his own photographs, his hybrids are free to roam the skies of the cities; freed from ‎restraints and the brick and mortar; a flight of fancy that is engaging and wondrous.‎
In his amazing video “Shathiyat”, meaning ecstatic utterance and referencing Persian Sufi poetry, a ‎love poem takes shape, one that is either addressed to a lady or to the city itself, the audience is to ‎decide for themselves. Again artist collects words from the city and his rhythmic and expressive reading ‎of these names creates poetry that is soothing and thought provoking. Same theme continues in his ‎Rubik cubes- reminiscent of building blocks in a city- once again his playful mind offers combinations of ‎words and numerous grouping of interconnecting cubes. ‎
Both in meaning and in process Allahyar Najafi shows his wondering mind and pondering gaze. He ‎engages with cities and is concerned with effects of subversive human greed and urban life on nature. ‎In his ideal world citizens of the cities exist in the same story, not in ideal cities but in actual ones. Cities ‎are considered as domains of ideas where the ugly and the beautiful come together and embrace ‎multiplicity and grace of all the elements of life.‎
Nazila Noebashari

Solo exhibition of Homa Delvaray

Opening at Aaran Projects on 2nd February 2018
On view until 19th February

Homa Delvaray sets out to bring the culture of common beliefs, customs, rituals, and gossip, superstition and faux-religious teachings in to the open and criticize it. She has gathered texts from various sources and has meticulously sewn them together to create 7 sculptural pieces, each one being one of the numbers that are constantly referred to in mythology and folklore of Iran: two, three, four, five, six, seven, and forty. The intelligent use of satire and references to Iranian arts such as: book making, Pardeh Neveshteh (embroidery and various techniques used in making of flags of Ashura), Nastaliq (Persian calligraphy) and cadres and formats of Persian painting are all part of this fascinating series.

The Book of Kolsum Naneh will also be show cased which is an adaptation of a rather famous book written three hundred years ago by a progressive clergy who aimed to confront and educate the regressive instructions of many other clergies.

Artist has arranged her book to be in seven parts (Bab), five elderly superstitious ladies narrate the instructions that are aimed for the younger women and is supposed to teach them ways of life.

Artist writes: Haft Peykar* is designed to resemble seven Alams*, the wooden pulleys are designed to carry them the sculptures on their shoulders, offering a deciphering of versatile mysteries; things we don’t know of, the world that we are not familiar with, beliefs that in this age and time are comical but knowingly or not we have always carried the burden, these sediments of haves and have nots that are residues of many centuries…

*HAFT PEYKAR, a famous romantic epic by Nezami of Ganja from the last decade of the 12th century. The title can be translated literally as “seven portraits,” but also with the figurative meaning of “seven beauties.” Both translations are meaningful and the poet doubtless exploited intentionally the ambiguity of the words.

*ALAMS are flags or metal banners of spiritual significance for the Shia Muslims, and are decorated with symbolic objects. Colorful Alams are carried in processions of Ashura.

Solo exhibition of Shirin Mellatgohar

Opening at Aaran Gallery on 19th January 2018

Art has been my instrument to return to my roots. To wounds, joys, childhood, war and all that has created duality in me. In these years I have been preoccupied with realities and experiences of past and present, I go back and forth. The images in this exhibition are the result of my deliberations and reminders or my encounters with the events that shape my life, next to my day dreams.
Art for me is articulation of my lived experience that is often entwined with events in my country and the region that I live in. The joys and sorrows that involves a generation, and living in a region with different ethnic groups with diverse languages and cultures, sharing a common inheritance which is woven with threads of fear and pain.
The woven works are the result of anxious moments. These dates came in to my life after the death of my cousin in the city of Mosel. Date is a fruit that grows in both of my lands: that of my birth place and the one that I live in.
My joy and laughter after each city is liberated, my fears and screams when another city falls to ruins; all of it flows in me simultaneously. This is part of the life of thousands, millions of people living in Middle East: always anxious, always expecting: that rain that is supposed to fall on fire, when will it rain down on our torched easterly land.*
Shirin Mellatgohar

  • Sogol Moghavvem Ghafari
Solo Exhibition of Hoda Zarbaf

Opening at Aaran Projects on 12th January
On view until 29th January 2018

In a data-driven era, when monitors behave as frequent portals between virtual and physical, self-images readily practiced. And akin to the industrial revolution, humans have leveraged the tools at-hand, particularly social media, to transition this innate practice from an intricate, lifelong craft to a fast-paced, manufactured, yet hodgepodge production. We are image-making machines. We transform—even decode—ourselves into data, transmitting them to others in hopes to seek who we are through their gaze.
This series is a commentary on the process—as well as the stages—of manufacturing self-image: performance, production, display, gaze, reflection and pleasure. Each piece loosely plays on a stage and reveals its visceral, yet absurd experience. Leveraging various image-making techniques, Hoda Zarbaf transmits her reality into sculptural animations. She further echoes these distortions into another image, deeming the “image” itself to be merely a representation. And in the process, she comments on the cycle of making the self-image amid technological revolution in the contemporary era.

Excerpts from catalogue by Sanam Samanian

 

Mass in Movement-1
Studio 51
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 15 December 2017
On view until 5 January 2018

Mass in movement, a body of works which re-activate a large number of primary sources, is the product of the recent collaboration at Studio 51. These sources are used to counter their original context and function. Therefore, we are to see a situation in which arises a rupture between the thing and the system of signs making that thing thinkable. A found collection of family slides; panoramic photographs of Tehran from the top of Milad Tower; documents pertaining to events in the news; obtained videos from internet’s cyber-space, YouTube and more, are all things that can find themselves in this situation i.e. distortion of meaningful significations through unconventional use of signifiers.

“Studio 51” has been a collaborative project between Bahar Samadi and Navid Salajegheh since 2014. By recycling and re-employing pre-existing footages, as well as, textual/visual materials, and then processing them through a diverse extent of mediums, spanning from moving images to performance, installation, and painting, they attempt to construct a series of micro-narratives and assemblages, which reappear in a here and now that is alternative to their original time and space. The output of these projects are visual, auditory or tactile experiments that create new relationships between content and expression of materials. “Studio 51”, also, functions as a laboratory for these two artists to discover new forms for the possibilities of “working together ” and, ultimately, to observe the way they evolve from one project to another.



Match Point
Solo exhibition of Hadi Alijani
Opening at Aaran Projects on 1 December 2017

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Match Point is a situation, it is about people who are stranded and have to live with their repressed desires; the crying bride who knowingly is stepping in to her position, Mr. and Mrs. Salimi who are frozen in time, the couple facing future with candles lit and surrounded by realities and boundaries of everyday life. Reactions to a world apparently without a meaning; puppets controlled or influenced by invisible outside forces, a very real theatre of absurdity. Artist is holding a mirror to illustrate the joyless, self-indulgent populace of his world, mostly caught in ordinary moments of their lives, finding no easy solutions for their existence.

Here is an amalgamation of daydreams and recollections; the man who dreams of being a woman, the man that only sees himself in mirrors, the white horse who is the father. In this unique world, nothing is as it should be and everything is as illogical as the artist wants it to be. The world that Hadi Alijani depicts is neither to be believed nor to be explained. It is to exist in perpetuity, forever waiting for the point that will win them the match. A game of chance. Looking for easy solutions or comforting illusions. The backgrounds, glimpsed through either windows or theatrical arches, depict a world of imbalance, where only Mount Damavand seems to be standing firm. Everything else appears to be swimming in a whirlwind of instability, and yet the populace is engaged with their own situations, their own individuality, and existence. Deformation is a trademark of the artist, so are his creatures that are his own. And his unique foliage and wildlife that is as bizarre as the lives of the people who are surrounded by them.

Hadi Alijani’s fascination with Persian Painting is boundless. His deliberations are precise and his unwavering focus results in phenomenal imagery and connotation; the bright and pure colors, the flattened objects, the layers of story and metaphors, and most importantly the promise of hope.

Nazila Noebashari



The Third Apple
Solo exhibition of Yahya Dehghanpour
Opening on 24 November 2017, on view until 11 December 2017


Yahya Dehghanpour has always experimented with technology and apparatus. Tools are toys for his creativity; They range from many experiments, including the pin-hole camera and the most improvised plastic tools, to throw away cardboard cameras to the most advanced cameras available. Discovery is part of his inquisitive essence. His passion for photography is endless, and no physical deterrents are of consequence. Using a simple application on the mobile phone, the Panorama option, and by movement of his hands, this new series of works has taken shape.

There is no definite photographic instance in this collection of works. There is no certainty. Time is of no importance. Possibilities are boundless and probabilities are offered. The viewer is faced with the skepticism in everything manmade and their mindset is challenged, while a new structure and perspective are offered.

One of the interesting points about the majority of works in this collection is their cadre; the vertical and stretched-out presentation of the images. Normally one strolls by and sees horizontal frames, a natural and coordinated motion of head and eyes, however in this collection the viewer is forced to view the world through the line of sight of the artist. Through motion, the camera registers a different perception of reality, here is the Artist who perceives and creates simultaneously, all in a single instance.
By creating a different perspective, the artist offers an alternative reality or perhaps cutouts of reality, and a new line of sight, all the while obscuring certainty.
The city is his element and his flânerie is of a complex nature; amid the tides of the population and within the flow of the city and in the midst of fleeting moments his unique narratives take shape.

Yahya Dehghanpour’s command of literature has played an important part in developing his oeuvre. A well-thought-out narration is a vital part of his practice. His quick wit and playfulness in combination with his critical viewpoint are evident in his works. At the same time, nothing is too serious, nothing is absolute. Once again his preoccupation with the subject matter and his determination to master and command technology come together to create infinite possibilities to view the world and to deliberate on borders of reality.



CAP
Nasim Davari
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 3rd November 2017, on view until 20th November 2017.


Layers of color gradually come together to create solid and carefully deformed portraits. Portraits of a people that belong to a certain unnamed land, people who sing or shout their lives, as if they are telling their stories to the viewer. It is difficult to assign a gender to them, and maybe they are without one.

In her paintings, Nasim Davari supersedes the boundaries of imagination and creates her own world. In her world, the people are equal in the sense that they are equally in pain or just as fortunate. They bring children to their world, have jobs and are playful or philosophical. These portraits that follow on the track of earlier works of the artist are a hybrid of humans and unknown creatures. These are not just portraitures of these people, but they demonstrate their expressions and feelings. These images paraphrase emotions such as complications in relationships, bewilderment, anxiety, and serenity.

The works in this exhibition can be divided into groups depending on the material they are painted on, but the spirit is the same. As an example, the paintings on old trays are a reminder of the history of these people and their lived experience. The other important factor in Nasim Davari’s practice is that she remains independent and stays away from the prevalent artistic practices. She is not influenced by the external influences and constantly challenges her own essence and capabilities, and that is why she everyday lived experience is part of her practice.
Her work is at the same time rational and equally illogical. Rational because of focused execution of her oil painting and illogical as her practice is not about creating philosophical interpretations of art, instead she looks to break up the pre-conceived subjective templates. She toys with prevailing and ordinary values and by defying them, creates a new logic. By choosing the title of “Cap” for her third solo exhibition, she offers a multitude of layers for the audience to shape their own interpretation of the works and even find their own doppelgänger among the people of this unknown land.

Mina Feshangchi



Where Do I Come From?
Hossein Valamanesh
Opening at Aaran Projects on 27th October.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


For his first solo exhibition in his home country, Hossein Valamanesh has carefully chosen works that reference many angles and layers of his practice. Pure forms of geometry that are closely connected to natural elements such as fire, earth, and wood, next to works that have deep roots in Persian culture will offer an insight to the probing mind of this artist. The spatial qualities of his oeuvre are manifested in his smaller works but are more visible in his site-specific works. In his public works, he creates a portal between urban life and the natural world while the locality and circumstances of these sites are evidently of the utmost importance to the artist. The same care and attention are paid to the choice of works of this exhibition and their engagement with the space of the gallery.

His practice is rooted in the earth but veiled and delicate references point to that which lies ‘beyond’; there is an overall expression of lightness, at the same time the wisdom engulfing his practice can be traced in every line and word. His engagement with nature and the universe is easily recognizable and reveals a humanity that attracts the viewers. Many of the works are rooted in the rich poetry of Iran both literally and in form. There are traces and layers of personal and social history of the life of an artist who has benefited from two very different cultures, one of his motherland and the other of his adopted country.

While each work stands on its own merits, together they offer a hieroglyphic script. Inscriptions that are visually attractive and represent real or illusional elements and concepts; an indicator of the interconnectedness that is vital to his practice and his fascination with the core of things. Influenced by the Aboriginal art of Australia, and benefiting from the simplicity of the method used by them, his works also evoke ritualistic ideas and are sometimes visibly simplified ideas or forms.

Hossein Valamanesh’s engagement with nature and universe and his absolute devotion to art is self-evident and at last Iranian viewers will be able to marvel at the lightness of his being and the strength of his soul. In his words: My art is about not separating elements such as aesthetics, content, and form from each other. A door is opened and a glimpse of reality is sensed and one realizes its ephemeral nature.

Nazila Noebashari



Primeval, Art of Wood
Group exhibition of works made with/on wood
Curated by Akram Ahmadi Tavana, Commissioned by Aaran Gallery
Opening at Aaran Projects on 1st September, on view until 25th September 2017.

In memoriam and honoring artists:
Arabali Sherveh (1939-2011), Mohammad Ali Madadi (1942-1998), and Mehdi Sahabi (1944-2009).

Exhibiting works by:
Mohsen Vaziri Moghaddam, Behrouz Amiri Rad, Mansour Tabibzadeh, Majid Kamrani, Farhad Ahrarnia, Houman Salimi, Shaqayeq Arabi, Behdad Lahooti, Mehdi Rangchi, Shahryar Gharaei, Yashar Azar Emdadian, and Mohammad Marvasti.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Essential to life on earth, trees hold a special place in the collective consciousness of humans: rooted in earth, reaching skyward, nourished by elements, they provide a metaphor for what it means to be human. Each tree has a character, and it is in the strength and density of its grains that a dialogue between the artist and the medium takes shapes.

Wood has an irrevocable history, stories of lush forests, seasons, flora and fauna, and Time that is written in to its rings. The appeal of the primal nature and human’s yearning for it, is perhaps the reason that viewers appreciate art works made of wood in a different way; the perception of the story behind the wood, the Medium itself, and the inherent connection between earth and water and purity of nature.

This exhibition explores forms and concepts of artists, across three generations, who have often chosen wood as their preferred medium. While some works emphasize woods’ natural characteristics, others work against the grain. At the same time the sculptural play and wide ranging distinctive artistic sensibilities and rich symbolism of trees, are evidence of the emotional connection between the art works and the artists.

The aim is also to celebrate how contemporary Iranian artists integrate storytelling and personal narrative in to their work. The rich history of Iran is allegorically referenced to in many of the works at the same time consciously or otherwise many motives of Persian arts are present. Through the use of various tools each artist pushes the boundaries of the medium while taking in to consideration the unique characteristics of wood such as grain, tone, color and texture; a conversation that is encircled with the energy of earth and sun, one that has been engraved in the texture of wood, a purity that is appealing and timeless and primal.

Nazila Noebashari



SMALL+50
On occasion of 10th Anniversary of exhibition of Small Statues-Part One
In collaboration with Iranian Association of Sculptors
And to coincide with Iranian Biennale of Sculpture
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 8th September 2017, on view until 18th September 2017.


Behrouz Darash, Saeed Shahlapour, Bijan Nemati Sharif, Fatemeh Emdadian, Ali Davari-Nader Qashqai, Mohammad Hossein Emad, Abdolnasser Ghiv Ghasab, Malek Dadyar Garossian, Mansour Azari, Elham Bolorchian, Mohammad Reza Zabihollahzadeh, Farzaneh Mohri, Korosh Golnari, Azar Sheikhbahizadeh, Akram Jahanpour, and Ghodratollah Agheli.

The recurrence of an artistic event defined within a time frame, is indicative of importance of an event and the perseverance of the custodians and participants in maintaining a relationship, an association that indicates presence and strength of its foundation and susceptibility. On the other hand it is demonstrative of the potential that is well recognized by artists, viewers and custodians.
The exhibition of Small statues is one of the artistic events that despite obstacles has remained consistent and authentic. This year at the threshold of its tenth anniversary with regard to the past exhibitions, this event will acknowledge and pay respect and gratitude to veteran participants.

On the tenth anniversary of this event and with support of Aaran gallery, the exhibition of Small +50, aims to honor the sculptors above 50 years of age who with their consistent presence have laid the foundation of this annual event.



Decay, Chapter two: Rend
Hamed Jaberha
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 11th August 2017, on view until 1st September 2017.


Rend, the second chapter in the “Decay” series, is a simultaneous autopsy of history and body, a discontinuous look at the continuous history of exerting violence on the body, a search in events, signs and texts to reveal human’s complicity in vulgarity. It is an exploration alongside time, this wild cruel entity rooted in us; something that was, and is, that thrives on the remains of wars, revolutions, and upheavals.

At a time when victors feast on the suffering of the defeated, memorializing the fallen of history is perhaps a bold gesture. A feast by the chaste and the revolutionary, in burqas and rags, in robes and turbans over the listless human body. But in the end, memory fades away in the mist of time and truth emerges subtly but brightly.



BORJASS
A project by BORJASS art Group in collaboration with Isoo Gallery of Amol
Hamid Asadzadeh, Farzaneh Gholizadeh, Ali Fazeli, Forouzan Soleimani, Akbar Rad, Mostafa Masoumi, and Shaqayeq Shabani.
Opening at Aaran Projects on 28th July 2017, on view until 25th August.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Six artists reveal their preoccupations, varying from concerns for Inequality and Gender discrimination to importance of love, to anxieties over after life. Hosting artists of Borjass Group, of ISOO Gallery based in Amol, for a second year, the exhibition includes works of seven artists with different mediums.

In his new series “Squint”, Hamid Asadzadeh, explores dual perceptions of same concept. In social spectrum that recognizes the symbol more than the axiom and surfaces more than meaning. This dual perception leads to clashes between two visions of same concept. In women of Forouzan Soleimani a defining moment in their lives is pictured. Instants that determines their fate. A moment after which return will not be possible. The paintings refer to the struggle between the inner self and the outside world and resembling Tide of oceans and the underlying force of gravity of earth. Akbar Rad finds humans engulfed in darkness. Surrendered and forgotten and in depths of loneliness. However the play of color and light in these paintings signal presence of hope. Mostafa Masoumi inserts his own mind in to famous paintings of History of art. A conjecture and remaking that connects the young artist to the giants of art. Shaqayeq Shabani registers the ever present emotions and torments. Agonies that she tries to console by covering female body with white paint. A solace for tired souls. Ali Fazeli uses Iranian Birth certificates to show the violations on personal identity. Even a personal document is constantly changing. A document that shows force of geography and dos and don’ts that shape the human identity. Farzaneh Gholizadeh emphasize is on decay of all creatures and concepts. By accepting this inevitable cycle and stressing the role of humans in their own demise as well as that of the nature, a new birth is promised.



Preoccupations
Farnaz Rabieijah, Hamed Rashtian, Nastaran Safaei, Amir Mousavizadeh, Ali Mousavizadeh, and Armin Pourfahimi
Opening at Aaran Projects on 30th June 2017, on view until 24th July.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Six artists reveal their preoccupations, varying from concerns for Inequality and Gender discrimination to importance of love, to anxieties over after life.

Armin Pourfahimi builds a temple for Manhood, and criticizes the Discrimination and Gender inequality in our society. Farnaz Rabieijah reveals her anxieties about death and continuity. In Reminiscence, a whooping nine meter length work on paper she traces plants on the fabric of paper, connecting cycle of nature to life of humans. Hamed Rashtian explores the repetitive nature of everyday life. A simple animation is shown on a handmade Praxionscope. Audiences are invited to create their own circle of repetition by manually operating the device. In Stepwise series, Nastaran Safaie paints old Persian rugs, a sac religious act against an ancient art that has taken centuries to perfect. Generations have walked on these carpets and she asks her own generation to take wise steps, prudently and with solid and persistent steps. Amir Mousavizadeh creates a gas station, and the joke is on the user. By falling deeper in to consumerism and devouring our own national wealth, we are accomplices to the international game of exploitation of oil rich countries. Ali Mousavizadeh pays tribute to beauty and importance of love in everyday life. Swans choose one mate and remain faithful to them for their whole life. At the time of death and by night they return to the place where they have met their pair and sing a beautiful song, having been silent most of their life time. A Death that is as beautiful as life itself.



Mahvash, Parivash and Friends
Amitis Motevalli
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 26th May 2017, on view until 9th June 2017.


“Mahvash, Parivash and Friends” is the second solo exhibition of Amitis Motevalli at Aaran Gallery. Named after pop singer Jalal Hemati’s song, “Parivash”, the exhibition consists of watercolor paintings on paper as well as a mixed media installation as part of an ongoing exploration into women’s labor and a continuation of concepts from her “The Stretch Manifesto” series. The paintings and installation present themselves in a simulacra of abstraction while simultaneously referencing the human body without the actual presence of the body.

The paintings, while minimalist in aesthetic, are meticulous, each shape had drawn and painted. Each painting is the result of days of painstaking work, wherein the artist’s process echoes the tedium of the women’s labor she represents symbolically. Intentionally painted to look like screened or stamped prints, the near identical repetition becomes a metaphor for market and surplus, in an industry that commodifies humans yet can not mass manufacture the body through automated means.

The paintings evoke a narrative while repeating shapes and forms through geometric patterns. They incorporates the tenets of Islamic Art, mathematical abstractions of shapes and form, without the use of the human figure, yet the figure remains hauntingly present even with its absence. It can even be assumed that the absence of the body and presence of only the wearables elevate the figures referenced to a holy status.

With minimal means and simple shapes through fabric, the installation directly engages the architecture of the gallery space. The negative space becomes as active and important as the objects engaging the space. Upon entry, the shapes and the negative space created by them pull viewers into the position and perspective of an invisible workforce. We become part of a secret world of commerce, exchange and women.



Revolutionaries: The First Decade
Kaveh Kazemi
Exhibition and book Launch (published by Nazar Art Publications)
Opening at Aaran Projects on 19th May 2017, on view until 9th June 2017.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Revolutionaries covers a tempestuous decade in Iranian contemporary history. Return of Kaveh Kazemi to Iran coincided with the beginning of revolution in autumn of 1978 and he found himself among masses demanding the end of Shah’s Regime. Images chosen for this book and exhibition are part of a substantial archive of black and white photographs that tell the tale of a very difficult time in our history.

The obvious dynamism and tension in these images are self evidentiary. The interplay of conflicting elements and the suspense and the constant movement of photographer are part of the magnetism of this selection. More than three decades later these images can still evoke emotions and remind us of truth and of sorrows that we can not name.
Artists’ unique vision and his obvious passion for photography, next to major events and upheavals in this exceptional decade, will certainly be an important and valuable addition to the visual memory of the country.

Kaveh Kazemi was born on October 1952, in Tehran, Iran.‎‎‎ His photographic career started in the beginning of Iranian revolution in 1978 and has spanned for more than three decades covering Iran, the region and the world working with major international Media as a freelance photojournalist. His pictures have appeared notably in Time, Newsweek , New York Times, Stern, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, L’Express, Figaro Magazine and Geo. The Crying Soldier picture taken in the early days of Iran-Iraq war on the western front gained international recognition and has been categorized as a war classic. He has covered many different regions of the world including Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Cuba, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iraq.‎‎ Lately he has covered conflicts in Syria in 2012, Mosul Iraq in 2016, and FARC demobilization camp in Columbia in January 2017.He continues to work and cover the region.He is represented by Getty Images where all his archives appear online starting with the coverage of Iranian Revolution to present day.



Four Seasons, Studies for Carpet Weavers
Solo exhibition of Hadis Fakhr
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 12th May 2017 on view until 21st May 2017.

In carpets of Hadis Fakhr, ardent flames, next to gaily blooms and splashing fountains and rippling cascading pools are cool retreats for sore-wearied limbs and tired hearts. In this organized chaos there is the promise of fertility and abundance, of invisible and elusive realities.

In her suggestions for Contemporary carpets, the young artist gathers her fanciful creatures and crafts a unique playful and joyous world. Hers is a fantasia of enchanting rhythms; emerging, retreating and reversing. In her wild compositions her visual dynamism takes shape and the fairy land becomes real. Within these dream like foliages, and sparking tones, magical creatures reside in an everlasting spring.

In super charged panels an exceptional imagery is formed, where her creatures resembling Japanese Manga characters, dwell on Persian carpets and mischievously act in sequences, moving from one panel to the next one. In a back drop of utopian themes, Hadis Fakhr successfully blends her imagination with the classical lines and compositions of legendary Garden Carpets of Iran.

In each panel artist weaves her own concept in to the fabric of the carpet: in “Heaven and Hell”, the two worlds change place; hell becomes this enjoyable place and heaven is a supremely boring place. Our young Bard tells the story of changing of seasons, with dragon wrestling matches and peacock dancing competitions and the ever present naughty and wildly free Fox. At the end all conflicts are reconciled, all creatures in confederation blendlike a chorus singing, rejoicing, floating; yet anchored in eternity and in the safety of the Garden.

Hadis Fakhr is the supreme story teller. She lives within her stories, a wondrous world created to safely deliver her and the viewers to a place where beauty and joy are the redeeming answer to chaos, frustration and insecurity that has governed our land for generations. It is this level of competence and commitment that drives the young generation to persist on their own capabilities and is the source and merit of Iranian Arts for generations to come.



Nastaran Safaei
Presenting series “Beyond and Above”, “Monuments For That Which is Forgotten”, and “Body Impressions”
Opening at Aaran Projects on 21st April 2017, on view until 12th May 2017.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Presenting three sets of recent works, Nastaran Safaei reveals her probing mind and restless quest in her artistic endeavor. In the series, Monument To That Which is Forgotten, she echoes words that are important to her; tranquility, silence, instant, and intuition. She builds monuments to these words to remind herself of importance of what is essential and ought not be lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. She coats these Totem like sculptures with cement and sacred soil of her land, wishing them to become eternal and to inspire others as well.

In her second series Above And Beyond, ink transfers body impressions on to canvas fabric. Emotions and unconsciousness are registered through the thinnest of mediums; the Skin. The impact of texture of body, at first pallid and then defined, tranquility and movement and the repetition of the cycle, reveals the connection and disconnection of self with the outside world.

In the series Body Impressions, the dots and dotted lines, register and connect the path of evolution of artist. The intimacy and playfulness in these three sets of works are indicators of her perseverance and maturity and are the fruit of her labors in the last one decade.



Versus of Oblivion
Solo painting exhibition of Roghayeh Najdi
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 14th April, on view until 1st May 2017.


For a whole generation of Iranians, childhood was a passage between bewilderment and awakening. The experience of living through years of revolution and the imposed war, exposed them to images, emotions and vocabulary that was not supposed to be part of their childhood. The fears and conflicts of those years has had its profound effect on every day decisions and desires. At the same time the insecurity that a nation has felt for many years has evoked fundamental human craving for life; for color, patterns, and flight of fancy.

In her first solo exhibition Roghayeh Najdi pictures a past that is shared by millions of other children. By painting Negative images of children, with a backdrop of unrest and inherent violence, she speaks out against imposed war and violence and the ever increasing threats of war and hostility in her home country as well as in the region .

The illusionary quality of what she remembers is a tangible shroud that covers the paintings. In these layers of reality, dream, and illusions a unique formation takes shape. Vivid colors are in contrast with the grey years of life in Iran and the astounding beauty of the wild flowers are a reminder that ultimately nature can’t be restrained and eventually human spirit is capable of overcoming a great number of obstacles.

The Versus of Oblivion is a collection of wondrous imagery by a young female Iranian artist who is trying to recall all of the past, and today she is determined to live her life to its fullest, despite the past; defiant stand of an artist who is committed to renounce darkness and ultimately to defeat spite.



Parkingallery Projects in collaboration with Aaran Gallery, Rooberoo Mansion, Polish Embassy in Tehran and New Media Society presents:

LIMITED ACCESS 7
International Festival for Moving Images, Sound and Performance

April 7-12, 2017
Closing Event: Rooberoo Mansion
April 14, 2017

Venues: Aaran Gallery, Rooberoo Mansion, Aaran Projects, and New Media Projects
Curators: Rambod Vala, Pouria Jahanshad, Amirali Ghasemi, Leonie Roessler, Helia Hamedani, Pooya Abbasian, Sohrab Kashani, Dafne Narvaez Berlfein, and Magdalena Ziolkowska

For daily program please visit:
www.limitedaccessfestival.com


Limited Access Forum 7, will showcase latest from the vibrant and often unseen video art scene of Iran

Other programs are:

Art, City and the Politics
Curated by Pouria Jahanshad
Researcher of interdisciplinary studies between movie and contemporary art and director of Fresh Documentary Event Group

Sentimental Punk
Curated by Dafne Narvaez Berlfein

Procedures of Everyday Practice
Curated by Magdalena Ziółkowska
Part of Seismograph on tour
Partner: Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Krakow

Remote Homecoming Chapter Two
Curated by Amirali Ghasemi
From Parking Video Library
Remote Homecoming is a platform designed to bring videos made by Iranians across the border remotely back home, and to bridge the gap between so called “inside” and “outside”.

From Here to There
Curated by Leonie Roessler
A playlist of recent electronic works from artists who are playing the field now. True diversity in sound and heritage – Iranian, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Irish – to name a few. Made of real sounds and artificial ones, ranging from direct to sharp to static to quickly moving to grand to elusive…
Compiled for Limited Access 7, to be heard in concert and then as an ongoing installation.

Re-visit; Early Iranian Videos from 90s
Curated by Parking video Library
Re-visit tries to showcase some early examples of Iranian video art from mid 90s to 00s.This research-screening overlooks at a decade of this rather emerging practice in the context of reappearing the term “Iranian contemporary art”.

Afterimage
Curated by Rambod Vala

Untitled, An Animation program
Curated by Pooya Abbasian

PARALLEL PROGRAM
Pejman Foundation: Kandovan
Shattered Frames: Recent video work from Iran
Curated by Sohrab Kashani
In collaboration with Conflict Kitchen and the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University.



Sharpness
Majid Kamrani, Zahra Ghyasi, Maryam Farzadian, and Hooman Bayat
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 24th February 2017
On view until 6th March

This exhibition attempts to bring together works that are sharp, crisp and well defined. The artists whose works are displayed are extremely focused not only on their impeccable technique but on their subject matters. They paint Real things and objects and by representing key characteristics of their subjects, they offer a different reading of that which is Real. Through the process and proficiency in their chosen media, these artists are capable of interacting with reality, and infuse their own emotions, social values and perception of the world. The Sharpness of images in these highly detailed paintings, are perplexing for the viewers, leaving them wondering whether they are photographs or paintings. In these highly narrative paintings each creates a cutting edge unique world.
Majid Kamrani, explores today in the passage of yesterday. He frequently moves between memories and present day realities. He celebrates the life of his mother, a lady who raised her children at the wheel of her sewing machine. The purity of feeling and the emotional nature of these self portraits are awe-inspiring; a moment away from the disheveled and difficult everyday life in order to be reminded of that which is truly beautiful.
Zahra Ghyasi, creates accidents that are inspired by imagery from crash-tests at automobile factories. She concentrates on the moment of clash and the rush of adrenaline and successfully portrays the force of impact. Allegorically, the clash of cars are to remind us of violence but artist is not interested to show the after math of the accident, the aim is to show banality of evil. Having lived in different countries, through her paintings she is determined to create a new reality, one that is her own and is actual and can’t be taken away from her.
Maryam Farzadian, creates a definitive rendering of certain objects that can both be used as tools for building and offer gratification or become instruments of destruction and cause pain. It is possible to imagine that history and collective social memory is hidden in the layers of these paintings. The narrative and emotive qualities of these works render their own reality; Textures, facades, lighting and shadows are more pronounced than reality of any of the objects, reminding the viewer that “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”.
Hooman Bayat, using wide brush strokes, artist is able to create crystal clear images. By painting symbols of multinational brands, such as Coca Cola, artist references the status that these objects have gained in everyday life, symbols and objects which will remain recognizable long after we are gone. In his paintings the objects replace humans and show diversity and create a new kind of still lifes. More often than not the objects are broken and smashed, and reference triviality of material. At the same time critic of abuse of natural resources and wastefulness in our society is detectable.



Life Lines
Amir Hossein Akhavan
An exhibition to benefit Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation
In Collaboration with Etemad Gallery
Opening at Aaran Projects on 3rd February 2017, on view until 10th February.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


The technique and compositions that Akhavan employs leave us with no other way of seeing them. His creatures are not meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia. They are not “beautiful” in the classical, nature sense. We won’t get a chance to regret having lost what used to be. We find ourselves in an art gallery in the middle of Tehran, faced with pixelated images that from a distance can form an impressionistic whole. Tehran, in turn, is a pixelated ecology that draws insatiably from its natural surroundings. It attracts resources from near and far. It is a city connected to the planet in direct ways. As citizens of this city, we have access to products that come from all corners of the world, neatly packaged in a promise of good things to come. We, citizen, it, Tehran, want more – food, comfort, and the promise of good things to come. So on and so forth…
Excerpt from catalogue by Sohrab Mahdavi

Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation is an Iranian not-for-profit non-governmental organization funded by the public. It operates under license granted by Iran’s Department of Environment and is supervised by a Board of Trustees that sets the policies and budgets and oversees all financial activities.
Goals and mission PWHF was established to help safeguard our natural heritage, with a clear focus on wildlife and natural habitats. It is our mission to improve the conditions of and reduce pressures on wildlife habitats by conducting biological and social field surveys, direct conservation actions on the ground, raising ecological awareness amongst local communities.
Join to Save the Wild.

Website: http://www.persianwildlife.org
E-mail: info@persianwildlife.org
Facebook: PersianWildlifeHeritageFoundation
Instagram: @persianwildlife
Youtube: PersianWildlifeHF



A Few Credible Stories
Group Exhibition
Opening on 20th January 2017 up to 31st January 2017.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Artists: Parastou Ahadi, Doras Asadi, Shabnam Lohrasbi, Roghayeh Najdi, Pooneh Oshidari, Mahdieh Pazoki, Leyli Rashidi Raouf, Nastaran Safaei, and Rene Saheb.

The story is that Shahryar, the king finds out that his wife is not virtuous and decides to marry a virgin every night, and to behead them by morning, allowing no time for unfaithfulness. He carries on in this manner until his choice falls on Sheherazade, the daughter of the vizier. The king did not know that Sheherazade had studied philosophy and sciences and arts and that she was pleasant, polite and clever. Her stories and ingenuity and wisdom, changed his attitude and outcome of the night, and she continues to inspire and influence the world after centuries from inception of the story.
This exhibition assembles works of nine female story tellers, stories that can only be narrated by women. The aim is to demonstrate their tenderness and initiative and to celebrate their perseverance and humility. Each have found their own unique visual language; a language of compassion and sensitive approach to mostly social issues with emphasize on their own standing in life and the peripheral.
In 1936, twelve women entered Tehran University and as of 2006 women account for more than half of university entries in Iran, however everyday life is mostly controlled by male decision makers, who habitually are not ready to relinquish control or to share power. The dynamic presence of women in every arena in Iranian society today is the result of years of perseverance and determination of generations past and wise men who chose to support them.
It is said that Ishtar the Goddess of Love and power, approaches the gates of the underworld and demands that the gatekeeper open them:
If thou openest not the gate to let me enter
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors…



Secrets of Oblivion
Solo exhibition of Amir Nasr Kamgooyan
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 27th January 2017
On view until 9th February

In spite of their intricacy and interwoven quality, Amir-Nasr’s works, similar to scientific illustrations, seek to illuminate and elucidate. Through disorder and collages, he makes his way to purity in a counter-intuitive fashion. He is searching for the purity of material through an industrial procedure. In the interwoven mechanical, natural, and imaginary motifs, he experiments with a movement in the opposite direction towards the natural roots. The movement from a monolithic, harmonious, orderly mechanism to a fragmented, discordant, disorderly organism. In his approach, the image and the process of making the image have the same value. In fact, what comes into view is not all, but half of it, and indeed, a trace of it.
Despite the works’ fascinating and appealing quality, as well as their visual complexity, Amir-Nasr does not aim at a definitive and decisive revelation; or conveying a message. Rather, he takes a twisted path to the inside, to forget, in order to remember the fountainhead. His oblivion tries to de-industrialize the heart of methods and industrial materials. It moves from mechanical geometry to natural geometry, taking apart the engineered symmetries of the pieces of the mind, throwing their construction borders into disarray.

Excerpts from Catalogue by Behrang Samadzadegan



The Life of an Itinerant Through a Pinhole
Portraits and places by Gholamreza Amirbeigi
Narrated by: Behzad Khosravi Noori
Opening on 30th December 2016 up to 16th January 2017.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.


Excerpts from catalogue:

The photographs are the story of the life of a people who migrated to Tehran after the Second World War, a migration that lasted until 1956 due to the effects of war and the subsequent economic devastation and epidemic bankruptcy of smaller cities. This particular group of people migrated from Maimeh, a small city halfway between Kashan and Isfahan in the center of the Iranian plateau. They found a place to live in the southwest District 17 of Tehran; near Emamzadeh Hassan, the most populated district in Tehran with 4 times the population of other districts. (Behzad Khosravi Noori)

I have looked at all the photographs. I walk my mind throughout the atmosphere of all these photographs and I pause here where the collection breaks from tradition and extends beyond the framework of the role and function of photography during grandfather’s period of productivity. It is the impromptu situations, or the relaxed and unconstrained themes as well as the photographer, or the departure from the routine redundant posing for the camera, the unnecessary arrangements of black drapes and the disregard for the macro-standards of photography of that era, meaning distancing from the common passage of events before the lens in order to keep a connection with time and history; and of course, memorialization. (Pirooz Kalantari)

Behzad Khosravi Noori has laboriously retraced the technology behind these pictures and found its origin. This apparatus is a rudimentary camera obscura; basically a pinhole camera of the type that is still today used in e.g. Afghanistan, in Brazil and on Cuba. He also tentatively identified the person referred to above as ‘Pilgrim’ and ‘Revolutionary’ as his grandfather, Gholamreza.(Charlotte Bydler)

Photographs are more than images. They are social objects, filled with alternative histories. They evoke memories, stories. They tell stories of the social changes in the contemporary Iran from below. Today, more than a half century after the photographs were taken, photographed subjects, men and women, old and young have entered the exclusive art salons, looking back at us and demand recognition. A recognition they have been denied while alive. (Shahram Khosravi)


Behzad Khosravi Noori (Tehran 1976) is an artist and writer based in Stockholm and Tehran. He graduated from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, with a Master in Motion Picture and Master in Art in Public Realm at Konstfack University College of Art and Design, where he focused on multiple identities within the discourse of European multiculturalism and hyper-politicized socio-political environments. Currently he is holding a PhD position at Konstfack/KTH in Stockholm.



The Cold Sonata
Solo exhibition of Maryam Farzadian
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 23rd December 2016
On view until 5th January

Stones, scissors and discarded bits and pieces of paper are thrown in a game of chance; Rock, paper, scissor. Through careful compositions, Maryam Farzadian breaks up the rules of the game: in her game there are infinite suggestions and possibilities and there are no clear winners. The basic tonal melody of her Sonata is destruction and chaos and the final results are unfinished pieces by the composer.
The sharpness of images in these paintings that are the result of years of training, create a definitive rendering of the objects that can both be used as tools for building and offer gratification or become instruments of destruction and cause pain. It is possible to imagine that history and collective social memory is hidden in the layers of these paintings, events that artist hints at. The narrative and emotive qualities of these works render their own reality; Textures, facades, lighting and shadows are more pronounced than reality of any of the objects, reminding the viewer that “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”.



Visage/Image of Self
Curated by Fereydoun Ave
Opening at four spaces in Tehran on 9th December 2016



Displacement
Solo exhibition of Bahar Samadi
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 25th November 2016
On view until 8th December

A door opens. A considerable amount of the material in my work is other people’s images and sound archives. Anything that can be filmed, re-filmed and filmed over and over, or scanned, re-recorded or downloaded, can become a part of the process. These diverse images are from amateur 8mm films that I have found as well as downloaded videos from cyberspace or forgotten files on a hard disk. Any camera or imaging device can be incorporated in to my work. There is no limit. Passing through the machines.
A ladder. It’s only through the montage process that the work begins, takes shape and comes to an end. There is no predefined structure or script. The images as they are – or independent from their content which can be non representational- create their own setting. Or they impose the necessity of repetition, or as an indicator of their nature in a different arrangement. This repetition transforms an ordinary image to a mysterious matter. Images are in dialogue with each other and at the same time they compete to become the dominant image. One image invites another one, passes through it and returns to it. Image finds its own “other” presence, either in resemblance or in-distinction; introduces it, possesses it, releases it or is replaced by it. A row of windmills.
The images are the main characters. The image of a tree is not a tree, but an image in which there is a tree.
Here is the fiesta of dancing images.
Excerpt from catalogue written by Bahar Samadi

Bahar Samadi born in 1981, has studied Architecture at the Art Faculty of Azad University of Tehran, Iran and continued her studies in field of Filmmaking at Eicar Cinema School in Paris, in 2012.In the course of filmmaking, she primarily reaches for found footages and her personal archive, using structural techniques like cinematic omission and narrative form diversion to rewrite the pictorial memory of images. She decodes probable life of images by embarking on an imaginary journey between the author and the spectator. Her films have been shown in a number of platforms, galleries and film festivals around the world such as “ Semi Dark Room-Luminous Void” at Aaran Projects-Iran (2015), “Cork Film Festival”- Ireland (2014), “Fronteira – International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival” – Brazil (2014), “Limerick Avant-Garde Cinema, The Royal Picture Show” – Ireland (2014), “The 10th Beijing Independent Film Festival” – China (2013), “42nd International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR)”- Netherlands (2013).



It Is Fall
Behdad Lahooti
Opening on 11th November 2016 up to 24th November 2016.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.

Behdad Lahooti in his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, explores the very idea and discipline of sculpting . With an indifferent posture, artist insists that the works are not determinative or symbolic. They are also neither representational nor instructive. These pieces that appear to have come out of an industrial conveyor belt, have lost their function, but the essence of their beauty as found in nature is accentuated.
For centuries humans have controlled the nature, fearing it and trying to regulate it and at the same time extract what they need from it. Artist chooses organic shapes and by enlarging and painting them with jazzy colors that are part of modern day life, he creates his own “natural domain”; fabricated out of a homogenous synthetic mass of material made for technological civilizations of our era.
The installation of literally hundreds of pieces creates layers and patterns, with pauses and silences. There is an emphasis on spatial aspects of sculpting, large installation are the final work, or not; the choice falls on the viewer. But it is through the installing of the pieces that artist re-conceives the media of sculpture, in fact in this way the media can be stretched to infinity. By avoiding reference and symbolism, these works are parody of representation, and refuse to pretend to be anything but themselves. Nothing is in itself more this than that. Through appropriation of nature Behdad Lahooti creates his own Readymades, and by his illogical but measured and balanced set ups he betrays his skepticism and uncertainties in our Age of Doubt.



NATIONAL
Solo exhibition of Amir Hossein Radaie
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 4th November 2016
On view until 18th November

By 1960s and 70s Iran underwent major industrial changes. Famous merchants built factories to substitute imports with domestic products, particularly in field of household appliances such as radio, TV, fans, meat grinders, refrigerators, carpet, and tiles. These new products represented the desires and demands of the society and possessing them was an indicator of having achieved a certain social standing. Now half a century later, these products have produced history and memories and posses their own social identity. With changes in consumer patterns and industrial production, the question is when does a certain product become useless?

In this series of works, outdated and useless appliances are recycled and things that were once valued are redefined. The series is an illusory demonstration of changeable identity of objects and a society that is in state of flux.

Amir Hossein Radaie, was born in Hamedan in 1986. He began showing his works at an early age in 2007. His work has been exhibited in a number of group exhibitions in Iran and outside the country. Most notably at Sixth Biennale of Sculpture in 2011, and at Opera Gallery London, as well as MENA Arts foundation in Toronto.



Suspension
2010-2016
Solo exhibition of Hooman Mehdizadehjafari
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 21st October 2016
On view until 2nd November

Suspension is an infinite concept, eternal and profluent till end of time. Gazing at nebulas and galaxies, the whole concept of eternity and perpetuity becomes even more perplexing and fluid; absolute abstractions. The Endeavour to visualize the depth and width of these concepts is another kind of Suspension; drowning in questions that are as old as creation.
In all of this the most tangible phenomenon are humans. The suspended human in an indescribable space, empty and devoid of gravity, with no willpower or control, adrift and eternally bewildered; constantly staring in to the abyss. In any second they might not be anymore. Figures that are timeless and placeless and utterly farfetched. Humans drawn with pencil appear on large scale paper – both paper and pencil being transitory mediums-, one second in the apex and the next at falling edge. Just like us, like all of us.
Defying gravity, both as a natural force and in complexity of situation, in form and concept, these group of works suggest motion and fluidity and by blending what is stable and what is mobile, gracefully portray the uncertainties of our era and world in general. Swallowed up and dazed in instances of life. In words of Ahmad Shamlou: I touch you and comprehend the world/ I think of you/ and touch time/ suspended and eternal/ naked. I blow, I pour, I shine….
Hooman Mehdizadehjafari



Invisible and Indefinite
Nasser Bakhshi
Opening on 7th October 2016 up to 24th October 2016.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.

Nasser Bakhshi is preoccupied with images that relate to time and space and ultimately The existence. Through his large scale paintings and by painting found objects, he relates his concerns and fears. Painting is the instrument of conversation for this very quiet artist. He engages the viewer and narrates his tales; creating imagery that is communal and allude to turbulences and apprehensions of a nation in state of flux.

The images are all connected and collectively they offer an insight to the unique world of the artist. The remoteness of some images next to the tenderness of others, show fears and realities next to vitality of existence, and together they celebrate life.

His exceptional skill and hard work has endeared him to many audiences in Iran and outside the country. In words of Master Aydin Aghdashloo: Nasser Bakhshi carries on in the solitude of his studio, in a neat and narrow alley of the city of Tabriz, where he lives. He is bashful, and shy and dignified. He is an exemplary human being who has inherited the serenity, politeness and perseverance of his ancestors. He is not bound by fame, commercial success or praise. He is attached to his solitude. If you gain entrance to his studio, you can find tens of excellent and first rate art works. He will not abandon Tabriz. Citizens of his city pass him by, with respect, without knowing and realizing what a gem lives among them, and what a pity that his solitude does not let his character lighten up his alley, city and country even more.



Act I; Reminiscence
2010-2016
Solo exhibition of Aliyar Rasti
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 23rd September 2016

Aliyar Rasti is an image maker. His work surpasses the medium of photography. With his lyrical compositions he soothes the senses of the viewer and invites them to his poetic world. For his second solo exhibition at the gallery, he will be showing his manipulated Polaroid images. By eradicating faces and scratching images in and out of the photographs, he offers his memories of recent years. Through these photographs he finds a way to the past but discovers that he is estranged from those days. A part of the past is deleted and everything is blurred and partially remembered, as memories usually are. Artists bears his rawest emotions and his memories look similar to our own, evidence of a bygone era.

With his considerable skills as a photographer and film maker, and only 28 years of age, Aliyar Rasti is among the most interesting image makers of Iranian art today. His work has been shown in a number of interesting exhibitions and Film & Video Festivals in Iran and outside Iran.



The Third Narrative
Allahyar Najafi
Opening on 16th September 2016 up to 3rd October 2016.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.

The 2/5 dimensional lenticular imagery that every vendor has, are like windows to another world; windows that narrate only part of the story. When you put them next to each other a larger image is unveiled and the story becomes more explicit. It is as if imagination is given larger leeway to create a circumstance that allows for the story to happen . A new time and different status that reveals a new imagery. A two dimensional narrative in a two and half dimensional space, with colors and glaze estranged from reality.
This 2/5 dimensional setting has an impact on the viewer; the viewer is forced to move to see the complete story and is even allowed to take part in completion of the story. These stories show off their layers and betray the new space and status that they rely upon, and metaphorically reference the inconsistency of the story and the place it happens in.
In essence, the process is improvised; the image is disconnected from the back ground and this detachment is recognizable. In fact the viewer is simultaneously confronting two different kinds of imagery each with their own singular description and resolution. Because of the new imagined portrayal, the viewer recedes from reality and in fact a new narrative is unveiled, which is another dimension and which does not cover the original story . Concurrently all these elements create a Third Narrative.
Allahyar Najafi



Hamid Asadzadeh, Forouzan Soleimani, Majid Kamrani, Akbar Rad, Mostafa Masoumi and Shaqayeq Shabani.
A project by Borjass Art Group in collaboration with Isoo Gallery of Amol
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 2nd September 2016 until 16th September.

This exhibition is about six artists who have chosen to live in the city of Amol, away from the hustle and bustle of major cities of Iran, particularly its capital. They have chosen to search for light and have found solace in different spectrums of light; under these rays of light the identity of objects and occurrences appears more real to them.
Ahmad Asadzadeh looses human condition in a bustling labyrinth to find it again. The human that is lost among a thousand selves and constantly searches for its true identity. If there is path then it is a disordered one, and only by raising to the task, freedom is attainable. Forouzan Soleimani finds the eyes to be reflection of the forgotten side of humans. Once a woman chooses silence, it is a reflection of what she has lost, that which she should have not lost. The weight of this forgetfulness is heavy on their shoulders. Majid Kamrani explores today in the passage of yesterday, and this frequent journeys from memory to the present carry the souvenirs that appear like misfit patches and cry out for the lost purity. Akbar Rad craves a path through childhood. A mother that is knotted with her child and melts her fabulous femininity with mountains and volcano craters, to generate and portray the joy of living; the constant presence in the glow of motherhood. Mostafa Masoumi portrays the aftermath of the horrible explosion that results in never ending murderous floods, and the humans that become entangled in this deadly zone and strive for freedom. Shaqayeq Shabani is spiteful to the degree that in her work the decadence of soul and body are integrated and the result is an empty fist and the sore of the wound is the most prominent phenomena, an incident that will never be forgotten.



BOOK AS HOUSE
An exhibition of Artist Books curated by Foad Farahani

Mehdi Hosseini, Hossein Valamanesh, Saed Meshki, Saeed Ravanbakhsh, Milad Parvaz, Homa Delvaray, Sina Seifee, Foad Farahani, Maryam Farshad, Behzad Motebaheri and Elmira Mirmiran.

Opening on 26th August, until 12th September 2016.

Aaran Projects
No. 5, Lolagar st., Neauphle Le Chateau.
Tel +98 21 66702233
Working days, except Saturdays 1-7 PM and Fridays 4-8 PM.

Artist books are not meant to be read. They are often indecipherable objects, with uncommon language. Images are words and colors and textures replace narratives.
Contained within the form of a book, they allow for artistic freedom to govern and create an abstraction; different elements are combined to create a space, a house. They are hard to interpret and do not necessarily educate or inform the viewer.
This exhibition attempts to show the diversity in Artist Books created in recent years by Iranian artists of different generations and oeuvres.

For the catalogue of exhibition curator Foad Farahani writes:
Artists’ books are multi-dimensional,multi lingual and multi media, and are “magical spots”. A medium that in absences of phrases (weightlessness) is materialized in a temporal chain. Here what is meant by book, is a place not only to deliberate in but to reside in; substantiated in the form of language, in the delay of utterance, in the intended timing and spacing (of the page) or in a temporal-spatial continuum.
Artist books are personalized element of a structure. Book is a structure, a “House” perhaps. Opening or not, entering, pausing, rooms…spaces…pages, forward, backward and to leap from one to another; thus spaces are reordered.



Pulp Narratives
Opening at Aaran Projects on 15th July 2016.

Artists:
Tara Azarm, Leila Imani, Ghazaleh Bahiraie, Fatemeh Bahman Siahmard, Tarlan Tabar, Saman Khosravi, Ali Asghar Khatibzadeh, Afshan Daneshavar, Rene Saheb, Sadegh Sadeghipour, Nastaran Safaei, Kiarash Alimi, Sara Ghanbari, Mina Mohseni, and Masoumeh Mohtadi.

This exhibition aims to show the preoccupations and concerns of a group of artists with diverse practices; Narrations in Pulp that next to each other create a Hall of Mirrors, and consequently a funnel to our times: Nastaran Safaei’s compositions resemble bouquets for an event long forgotten. Pages from a famous women’s magazine of yester years, with pallid and faded colors, enact the theme of life’s transience and fragility. Fatemeh Bahman Siahmard’s large scale drawings create tensions between spatial occupations- actual and imagined- and are charged with energy. Viewer struggles to make the image coherent and through intricate lines artist forces the onlooker to visualize a three dimensional space. Ali Asghar Khatibzadeh who is a playwright transfers his visualizations on to pulp of discarded newspapers. Tragic and comic characters from his favorites writers are moved in to the real world to recite the stories that have fascinated audiences for generations; “Arjasb” of Shahnameh, “Medea” by Euripides and the ever present Clown. Leila Imani focuses her attention on superb delineation in Persian Paintings and by extracting figures from well known imagery of manuscript paintings, offers different readings of age old traditions. Kiarash Alimi’s large scale flowers stand firmly in their isolated world, patient, unyielding and superbly beautiful. The fabulous simplicity of these paintings are a reminder of splendor of life and the plausible lightness of being. Masoumeh Mohtadi creates books that are talebearer of our times. The book speaks of the gloomy disappearance of the ancient lake of the Assyrians, lake Urumieh. The lake that can be the last habitat of Artemia, a 100 million year species that exists as part of the cycle of nature. Unlike humans that disregard the balance of nature for their own ambitions and survival, Artemia, the ancient being, has resisted change. Ghazaleh Bahiraie is a child of our mega city. She has walked the alleys and streets of her beloved city and offers parodies and her own lived experience. Next to her video, her drawings resemble Silhouette Portrait paintings. Through the black and white drawings artist cuts out the cityscapes; tracing lines around the shadows of the city and telling the stories of its citizens. Saman Khosravi takes us back to his childhood. Having grown up in volatile Kurdistan of Iran, and raised amid war and violence, his simple models of aircrafts that are reminiscent of childhood games at schools, is adapted to tell the tale of horrors of war and a childhood that never was. Rene Saheb has consistently used fables and proverbs of our language to criticize and comment on life around her. By bringing the story of Three Wise Monkeys on to paper, she reminds us of the ancient Zoroastrian inbuilt beliefs in all that is good. Mina Mohseni retells the story of the great flood, refreshing the legend of Noah and his survival. The uncertainty of our times and the consistent struggle of humanity against manmade and natural disasters is a large part of the history of the region. Using sheets of wavy transparent plastic to cover her suspended paintings, she forces the viewer to reconsider their perceptions. Afshan Daneshvar, in her delicate compositions and absorbed in her practice, assembles bits of papers that are reminiscent of strings of something that was once was. Re-building a new page, re-assigning morsels and creating a new presence. The final result are Silent and solid entities that are fragile in essence. Sara Ghanbari tackles the subjects of time and memories and how our perception of life changes as time goes by. She illustrates a suspended space: between present and the past. In her twin paintings, she successfully portrays the flow of time and by re-producing the images, she raises the question of vitality and perception of memories, walking on the edge of memories. Tara Azarm with her set of drawings steps in to realm of concept, erosion and passage of time. Her forms seek to establish new structures out of ambiguous circumstances. Her shapes – with no apparent purpose- change from one thing to another and disappear and reappear in a fusion of the real and the imagined. Tarlan Tabar, pictures what she has seen in her subconscious for a long time. In her works Narcissism and absurdity are in conflicting path with eternity and perpetuity. She alternates between agony and ecstasy and offers her interpretation in lively colors as well as in large scale ink drawings. Sadegh Sadeghipour is a book man. His life is spent in a large book shop every day. The books take the shape of sculptures in his intricately hand cut books. If books are to become obsolete in the 21st century, what better alternate than transforming them to a beautiful sculptural piece and keep them around in one way or another.



Navid Salajegheh Presenting two series
“Folded Traces”
“The Castle of Iraj”
And “Winterreise”, A joint project of Studio 51, in collaboration with Bahar Samadi
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 27th May 2016

For this exhibition, Navid Salajegheh writes: The two set of works are the result of organized occurrences. The author of both projects has seen it sufficient to create the rules of the game and subsequently he has become one of the components. It is because of this approach that the creators’ act resembles the act of nature. As a result the maker has imitated the nature or in other words has merged with it. In both sets of works, both optical rules and the physic of material is at work. Both leave traces and create incidents; events are made or recorded and these two acts are either removing or adding material, whether it is recreation of the image of ruins, or the re-writing of an assembled archive on a lucid surface.

Winterreise, is a project of Studio 51, which is a collaboration between filmmaker Bahar Samadi & Navid Salajegheh. The main theme of their projects is recycling and re-applying preexisting or found and often unidentified footages, as well as textual and visual materials. Studio 51 attempts to rewrite and process these materials various mediums; moving image to performance and installations to painting. And thereby constructing a series of micro narratives which reappear in an alternative time and space. In Winterreise (Winter Journey) Studio 51 creates a mise-en-scène with three different pieces based on a found slide that passes through from one work to another: The film Of Memories of Others, the machine Retrouvaille and the painting in a Snowy Landscape.



Solo exhibition of Yashar Azar Emdadian
Opening at Aaran Projects on 20th May 2016.

This exposition is the result of five continuous years of artistic practice, with concentration on concepts such as identity, borders, psychological warfare, immigration and Paranoia. In this exhibition artist aims to transfer these concepts to his practice and by adding nominative dimension, establishes a direct connection with the audience and offers his own perceptions of some of the most important social and political concerns of a generation that has grown up with two cultures.
The art works presented in this exhibition are not a series but they are all connected and are a continuation of each other. The choice of works and the varied mediums such as sculpture, video, installation and print, are part of artists emphasize on choosing each medium as a fitting format to carry his message through.

Yashar Azar Emdadian, born in 1981, Yashar is born to a family of renowned Iranian artists. He has grown up in Paris and his character is shaped with his dual culture of his home country and his adapted country France. For the past three years he has Moved to Iran and lives out of the Mega City of Tehran. He is born to a family of renowned Iranian artists and having been surrounded with arts throughout his life, He has experimented with different mediums such as print, photography, painting and sculpture. He has worked with artists like Davoud Emdadian, Reza Deghati, Frank Denon and Sylvie Lejeune.



Solo exhibition of Hoda Zarbaf
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 13th May 2016

Composed, reshaped and hand-stitched, Hoda Zarbaf’s second sculptural series are made up of old family knick-knacks, recycled clothing, abandoned furniture pieces, stuffed dolls, and the varied artifacts she has gathered while strolling around Tehran.
Titled “Floral Compositions, Travelers of Time”, the sculptures borrow their identity, both in form and concept, from the unity of the dichotomies. Zarbaf has used pre-owned or vintage textiles–along with the traditional folk practice of stitching and patching–to bring a palpable level of intimacy to her work. In her making, the artist marries contrary concepts to achieve the optimum: giveaway and invaluable, pappy and concrete, old and new. Stitches that are both controlled and disorderly unify the soft materials to solid furnishings, creating large figurative sculptures that in a way reconnect the artist to the former and current narratives of her homecoming.
Following her return to Tehran from a nine-year journey in North America, Zarbaf in a new series—created in Tehran—explores the tales of her past life. During this time, she has rummaged through her childhood memories, new family anatomy, as well as solid Tehran daily routines. Abandoned pieces of clothing or old family house items (which have at some point been intimately in contact with the humans from her previous time in Tehran), are married into newly composed sculptures—reconnecting with the past and reminiscent of the lost intimacy.
Moreover, Zarbaf takes her narrative to a new dimension by embedding time-based media such as video, sound and lights in the sculptures. She expresses, in a letter to her friend about this journey, that she thinks these days we are more the travelers of time than of space. She, therefore, leads the so-called floral materials from the past and passes them through the time. To further communicate these passages, metaphorically, Zarbaf interweaves different mediums into each other to further: Industrial wheels carrying a box with stuffed dolls on them; or Soft oozing forms which are stitched around old monitors while exposing human hair or cast limbs.
The collection projects vulnerability while evoking motion—past and present. The soft forms that she has repeatedly created from the floral textiles are mostly remains of her grandfather’s fabric store. Together with the pieces of old furniture, and orphan dolls, Zarbaf has created time travelers that transcend their era and challenge the idea of belonging.



Solo exhibition of Amir Mousavi
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 29th April 2016

The preoccupation of Amir Mousavi with all that is ordinary is boundless. The outside limits of a seemingly simple wall, or a complicated bridge, are the firm elements and the interplay of light and time are the variables; all is calculated to show the indescribable. Everything else is eliminated to create a new subjectivity. Lines along the surfaces of a solid facade meet and capture the imagination of the artist whose fascination with walls of cities is evident in his earlier works. By staring at these surfaces the artist offers that which does not stand upon words. Narration is eliminated and the final result transcends the subject matter. Free from any logic or reason Amir Mousavi offers the depth of his own feelings.

For his third solo show at Aaran Gallery, artist has chosen to show two sets of photographs that stand on Edge and are separated with a ten year time gap. Amir Mousavi is a well known film maker and his earlier photographic works are included in many private collections as well as the permanent collection of Los Angeles County Museum.



Solo exhibition of Hadi Alijani
Opening at Aaran Projects on 22nd April.

The art works of Hadi Alijani, despite their narrative content and delicate humor,communicate a far more important theorem than proposing to explain the works. These paintings demonstrate the complex task of artist in maximizing the application of all aspects of the language of medium of painting. An attempt to utilize the limited resources of this language to achieve composition, coordination between the narration and fantasia, form and ornaments. Art for all time, has struggled to illustrate the subject, whether narrative or not, but the other aim has been to demonstrate the challenge of artist with the concept of beauty. The concept of beauty is farther than observing visual rules and conventions which are limited to a circle of principles. Beauty is about recognizing and forming an assortment of disciplines, relationships or ideas, and part of what artist attempts to do is to purposefully contemplate on how best to attract and fascinate the viewer and hold their attention.
In his recent series, within the frame work of a narrative and visual fantasia, Alijani exhibits his mental and physical challenges. The carefully devised plans, humans and animals in his paintings are indictors of his scrutiny and efforts to merge cubist shapes with forms adapted from Persian Painting. At the same time the minute and dense motives with thick and eroded textures are plainly tangible and physical. As a result of his mindful utilization of the narrative and visual details, his paintings depict a unique world of phantom and beauty, which next to the story line, are representation of the serious challenges of artist in creating his own language and exhibit his dictum on subject of beauty.
Behrang Samadzadegan



Solo exhibition of Kamyar Kafaie
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 15th April 2016

The chronical quality of elaborate paintings of Kamyar Kafaie covers diverse subjects. Infused with sly humor, they are reflections on our society past and present. By adapting a flamboyant and accessible aesthetic, he criticizes the behaviors of middle class of Iran. Some of the paintings have autobiographical references and some are commentaries on hypocrisies of the society. Characters are developed in his sketch book and are transferred on to canvas and more often than not same characters appear in different paintings. Serious Environmental issues that the country faces are one of the traits in his paintings so are historical and current social events. In his Radioactive Library, every painting is a book that tells its own story. The narrative flow of these intricate scenes is reminiscent of fabulous manuscript paintings of Persian art of book making.

The daily strains of life in Iran and undue pressures from the outside world is easily detectable in our current art scene. Kamyar Kafaie prefers to turn away from the negativity and show other aspects of life in Iran. Like many Iranian artists and poets, he chooses the language of satire to deny darkness. He paints his surroundings and creates his own allegorical and alternative universe where he is allowed to push the boundaries.



Persian Gardens
Opening at Aaran Projects on 8th April 2016.

Artists:
Fereydon Ave, Hadi Hazavie, Shirin Neshat, Mandana Moghaddam, Arita Shahrzad, Behdad Lahooti, Bita Ghezelayagh, Hadi Alijani, Ghassem Mohammadi, Tanaz Amin, Ziba Rajabi, Hadith Fakhr, Parisa Taghipour, and Hamid Arabi.

Here in this carpet lives an ever-lovely spring; un-scorched by summer’s ardent flame, safe too from autumn’s boisterous gales, mid winter’s cruel ice and snow, still gaily blooming. Eyes hot-seared by desert glare find healing in its velvet shade. Splashing foundations and rippling pools, in cool retreats sore-wearied limbs restore, and tired hearts awake with joy once more. The way was cruel.

Baffled by monotony and mocked by phantoms delirious, beset by stalking death in guises manifold; The dreaded jinns, the beasts ferocious, the flaming heat and the exploding storms; form all these perils here at last set free; in the Garden all find security.

Here the long-laboring Earth at last gives birth. From apparent death, a new and lovely world is born; below the desert’s dusty floor, the jacinth imprisoned lies. The stony wilderness so bleak and bare, in ageless patience broods, aware of a life within, the promise of fertility and abundance. Ever longing for deliverance. The world at last reveals its destiny.

Can we not then capture and restore the loveliness that gave us hope, still brightly mirrored on memory’s gliding waters or snared in the poets’ invisible net, so wide, so fragile, yet captor and conqueror of realities elusive?

Wrought in gold and azure, bright as carved metal. Dream-like foliage in sparking tones is caught, or else, in sumptuous shades of glossy lacquer, quiet but intense; in muffled browns and honey pure, jasper cool and mellow cinnabar, that fairy land comes real again.

In sudden collisions find sweet embrace; in rhythms enchanting, with stately pace, or rollicking speed; emerging, retreating, Reversing, in peaceful finality. Their conflicts reconcile, all in confederation blending Like a chorus in part-song gladly singing, in contrapuntal play rejoicing, floating soft or wildly free; yet anchored in eternity.



Fearless, The Next Wave of Artists from Iran
Curated by Fereydoun Ave

The exhibition will be held simultaneously in Tehran and Dubai.
Opening at three spaces in Tehran on 11th March at Aaran Projects, O Gallery and Lajevardi Foundation. And at Total Arts, Courtyard in Dubai, on 14th March 2016.

List of artists:
Sara Abbasian – Sasan Abri – Nasser Bakhshi – Reza Bangiz – Afshan Daneshvar – Habib Farajabadi – Soussan Farjam – Nariman Farokhi – Farhad Gavzan – Kasra Golrang – Mohamad Hossein Golamzadeh – Vahid Hakim – Hadi Hazavei – Mehrdad Jafari – Ebrahim Khadem-Bayat – Nogol Mazloumi – Arsia Moghadam – Amir Mohamadzadeh – Omid Moshksar – Kaveh Najmabadi – Farokh Nooroney – Mehrdad Pournazarali – Ali Razavi – Ashkan Sanei – Baktash Sarang – Sadegh Sadeghipour – Sharvin Shahrokh – Sepehr Mesri – Mohamad Reza Yazdi – Hossein Ali Zabehi – Zahra Navaie – Parichehr Tayebi – Pourang Pirataie.

Fearless is about 33 artists from Iran who have been working and working regardless of the market’s madness because they are manically obsessed with what they do. These 33 artists have been expressly chosen from various generations, from 25 to 75 years old. There is no age for being an obsessive courageous lunatic working silently.
“It is always hard choosing 33 artists from so many unsung heroes but it has to be done so apologies for not having enough space to include everyone.” Says Fereydon Ave, who has carefully selected pieces by these artists. “None of these artists have had media or market attention because of their obsession with work and not personal hype, so I am glad to champion them.” In a time and space where nothing changes fundamentally to keep on working on personal visions is fearless and to see fear as the only real censorship is to come out of the shadow.
The paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations in the exhibition encompass both figurative and abstract works, different in style and medium, and created by artists drawing on vastly different social, political and stylistic influences. Fereydoun Ave



Shahnameh, The Perpetual Narrative

The exhibition is based on a survey of the impact of Shahnameh on Modern and Contemporary Art of Iran conducted by By Akram Ahmadi Tavana. A fully illustrated catalogue is published for the occasion, with Foreword of Dr. Firuza Melville, Director of Research, Shahnameh Centre for Persian Studies, Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Opening at Aaran Gallery on Friday 4th March, 2016.

Artists:
Arabali Sharveh, Nikzad Nodjoumi, Mehdi Hosseini, Gizella Varga Sinai, Fereydoun Ave, Marziyeh Garadaghi, Farah Ossouli, Taraneh Sadeghian, Shirin Neshat, Jamshid Haghighatshenas, Saeed Ravanbakhsh, Reza Hedayat, Behnam Kamrani, Yasaman Sinai, Alireza Jodey, Siamak Filizadeh, Amir Hossein Bayani, Ala Ebtekar, Artemis Shahbazi, Ali Reza Fani, Mahsa Kheirkhah, and Aylin Bahmanipour.

Simultaneously on Friday 4th March up to 6th March, between 5-8, an enactment of performance of Mohreh Sorkh, of Saeed Ravanbakhsh, first performed in 2001, will be presented at Aaran Projects.

The appeal of Shahnameh for visual artists, which began two centuries after its creation, has remained solid and in contemporary times continues to be an inspiration for creation of art. The reasons and motives of artists in choosing this subject and their artistic interpretation, has been diverse, due to social, political and cultural contexts of their times. The two alternating approaches of emphasizing either on Iran’s Ancient history, or its Islamic history, can explain different attitudes of regimes; while under the rule of Pahlavi dynasty production of art on the subject was encouraged for official events, but in years proceeding the Islamic revolution, and despite the anti-Shahnameh sentiments of the first few years, artists, whether individually or collectively, have referenced Shahnameh in a completely independent approach. Artists have been drawn to the magnificent abilities of the Epic Poet, Ferdowsi in visualizing the battles and even romantic scenes. Not withstanding the exalted position of Shahnameh as a constant source that recalls the glory and magnificence of Ancient Persia, generations of artists have alluded to its stories to criticize the cultural and social inadequacies.
For centuries Persian artists have used mythology and poetry to depict a wondrous world, loyal to ideals of beauty, truth and perfection. A world where they have found the redeeming answer to brutality chaos and frustration that seems always to have been a part of daily life. Artists have created sanctuaries, providing consolation, delight and revelation for their audiences. They have preserved a Persian legacy, enriched our lives and inspired us as a nation to become better than we are.

We are grateful to the Iran Heritage Foundation for being a sponsor of the exhibitions’s publication.



Limited Access, The Sixth Edition
A festival of moving image, sound and performance.
Parkingallery Projects in collaboration with New Media Society and Aaran Gallery.
The event will be held at Aaran Projects, between 26th February to 2nd March 2016.

Limited Access, as an independent mobile and non competitive project was introduced in 2007 and in the past eight years has been held in Tehran, Cairo, London, Mashad, Shiraz and Esfahan.
Limited Access refers to the fragmented structure of the New Media art scene in Iran, and endeavors to be a platform for assembly, international exchange and screening of rarely seen art works in the field of Moving Images (Video, Documentary, shot film, animation, and independent Cinema), sound art and performance..

In the sixth edition besides “the archipelago” video program curated by Amir Ali Ghassemi – a blending of open calls and invitations-, various video programs Selected by International curators, will be screened.

“Out of The Box”, curated by Alessandra Pace, lecturer, curator and art historian based in Berlin, is an assemblage of phenomenal video artists who continuously expand the confines of this media.
The collection “VIDÉOGRAPHE IN TEHRAN” ”, selected by Audrey Brouxel & Karine Boulanger, from Montreal, offers examples of notable trends of video art in Quebec.
Marika Kuźmicz, who will be traveling to Tehran for the purpose, will be presenting and introducing the Polish Avant Garde video art of the 1970s.
Sanaz Mazinani and Mark Mayer, by presenting “Physical Limits”, question the physical and psychological limitations of the body, from daily domestic routines to the pressures of conforming to societal norms.
Limited Access Six, will be completed with special screenings and related talks and few installations, will be on view until 2nd March.

The daily program will be posted on: www.limitedaccessfestival.com



Solo exhibition of Nasim Davari
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 19th February 2016

That which is new, is incredible and astounding, so says Nasim Davari for her second solo exhibition. In second set of works that fall under the same title of her first exhibition, she once again offers glimpses of her humanity, a world that is constantly evolving. She continues to defy our aesthetic perceptions with her new hybrid forms which are part of her personal cosmology. This plenitude of details and the connection between the paintings is the result of her meta mythical fantasia, one that she insists is not strange, and that all new things are only strange at the moment that they are created and viewed.
Her bizarre world is a colorful one. The vivid colors that are now an essential part of her practice, are soothing and strong and unique. She proposes a parallel world of mystery and fantasia and deep compassion. It’s best not to try and explain this magical world but to float in the wonder that she creates. Stepping away from these paintings the world is once again factual and mundane.



Solo exhibition of Myriam Quiel
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 5th February 2016

Myriam Quiel’s paintings are depiction of fragments of the circumstances she lives in.
She combines certain impressions of her daily life and by using unimportant objects, she expresses her feelings and her state of mind. The question is always about reality, and how she confronts the realities of her life. The objects that she paints are familiar and in combination create collages that reflect her experiences. She does not attempt to tell stories through her paintings, but rather keeps her stories hidden and well covered, leaving the audience free to make their own interpretation.
She paints Still Lifes, that are chaotic and out of focus, unsteady and indefinite. The fragments of the paintings are meticulously chosen and placed next to each other, but the final work has an unfinished quality, a never ending story. By destroying and rebuilding, she offers a status quo. Her intension is not to search for harmony but to show the unsteadiness of our times. By using trash, discarded toys, withering plants and finally distorting them, she gives a picture of a frozen time. The unfinished state of everything interests the artist, leaving open structures for her to continue painting.
Her Still Lifes are an artificial world, snap shots of the flood of images that surrounds us, in other words, leftovers from daily life stories. She stabilizes abstract patterns in contrast to blurred shapes and draws the gaze of the viewer to her environment. An inanimate world, with commonplace objects, that questions the permanency of life and its realities.

Born in Germany in 1974, Myriam Quiel is a German-Iranian artist based in Tehran. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden and graduated in 2003. She started her career in 2004 in Berlin and her work has been shown in a number of German galleries. Since 2008 she has settled in Tehran and has held two solo exhibitions in Tehran and her latest solo exhibition titled PIN-UP was organized by Munikat Art Gallery, in 2013.



Opening at Aaran Projects on 29th January.

This exhibition is dedicated to ten of the leaders, activists and journalists who were brutally murdered during the Constitutional Revolution in Iran (1905-1907). Their names are engraved on conscience and history of this country:
Mirza Reza Jahangir Khan Sour Esrafil – Journalist
Sheikh Ahmad Rouh ol Ghodos – Journalist
Malek ol Motekalemin – Leader and Grand orator of Constitutionalists
Ghazi Ardaghi – Activist
Mirz Ebrahim Agha Tabrizi – Member of Parliament and Journalist
Seyed Jamal ol Din Vaez Esfahani – Leader of Constitutionalists
Sheikh Ahmad Rouhi – Activist and Journalist
Seyed Mohammad Tabatabaie – Leader and Activist
Saqat ol Eslam Tabrizi – Leader and activist and Author
Prince Yahya Miraz Eskandari – Member of Parliament and Journalist

The Persian Constitutional Revolution took place between 1905 and 1907. The revolution led to the establishment of a Parliament in Iran and opened the way for cataclysmic changes in Persia, heralding the modern era and the rule of law and promising freedom of speech.
The monarch Mozaffar ad-Din Shah signed the constitution in 1906, but he died shortly after and was replaced by his son, Mohammad Ali Shah. The latter abolished the constitution and in June of 1908, with support of British and Russians, bombarded the Parliament. Russian colonel Vladimir Liakhov who was the commander of the Persian Cossack forces, formed as a elite cavalry unit in 1879, lead the forces in shelling the Majles, killing hundreds of people and later on executing leaders and Journalists of the Constitutional Movement. The Shah kept himself confined to his residence at Bagh-e Shah fort in west of Tehran. A number of captured constitutionalists were imprisoned at Bagh e Shah and tortured and killed.
In retaliation and by July 1909, pro-Constitution forces marched from provinces of Azerbaijan and Gilan towards the capital and were joined with forces of tribes of Bakhtiari and Qasqai. They were able to capture Tehran and re-establish the constitution.
On 16th July 1909, the parliament voted to place Mohammad Ali Shah’s 11-year-old son, Ahmad Shah on the throne. Mohammad Ali Shah abdicated and fled to Russia, later to Turkey and died in San Remo Italy. Every Shah of Iran since Mohammad Ali Shah has died in Exile.



Solo exhibition of Mehran Saber
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 22nd January 2016

Paintings of Mehran Saber appear to be reactions to an apparently meaningless world, not controlled by humans, and influenced and even menaced by an invisible outside force. Shapes that are stretched, distorted and caught in suspended situations as if they are forced to do repetitive and meaningless actions. In his works, reality is dismissed and even Surrealism is distorted.

Hybrid creatures, often twisted and pressured, push and pull, apparently in a vicious circle and this time around water. Artist portrays the realm of unconsciousness and points to its indecipherable and vast expanse. A world devoid of every day restrains and limitations. Forms appear to be liquefied to transport the viewer to the limits of absurdity, completely out of tune and at the same time believable. The fabulous color palette is wild and exuberant, attracting the viewers at first glance and then challenging them into submission to observe the beauty and harmony of colors, while proving to them that the paintings are truly marvelous as well as wonderfully beautiful.



Solo exhibition of Morteza Pourhosseini
A project in collaboration with Nader & Nader LLC. New York
Opening at Aaran Gallery on 8th January 2016

By applying his significant technical skills, Morteza Pourhosseini, builds a bridge between artistic practices of the present to those of the past. His paintings are realistically detailed and signal his precision and focus. He captures details to hint at the mysteries behind the image. While he is inclined to stay away from registering emotions, the underlying strain and volatility are evident in each of these timeless portraits; particularly the hands that in proximity of various objects betray the tensions that are part of the rigidity of the poses. Elements of history of art are boldly incorporated in the paintings to emphasize the content and advocate skepticism and critical thinking. The narrative concept points to humanism and agency of human beings. The existential angst is evident in these portraits and while artist unfolds age old questions, he refrains from answering them.
Confronted with the realities of the world, such as violence, the dilemma of Either/Or is as complex as it was when Kane and Abel walked the earth. To prove that a suggestion or an idea is true or false is very often not attainable. The answer to the perpetual question of how we should live is a unfathomable as it was centuries ago. Logic indicates that nothing can be known for certain but senses are easily fooled and reason is outwitted by human desires. What is known for sure is that human beings are condemned to be free, to carry the dilemma of uncertainty or in other words the burden of choice, and are ultimately responsible for everything they do.
Born in 1985 in city of Ahwaz, Morteza Pourhosseini studied painting at Shahed Art university in Tehran. His work has been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of art for their permanent collection in 2014. His third solo show titled “The Circus” was held at Bohemian National Hall in New York in the same year and he has participated in various group exhibitions in Iran and abroad.



A selection by Behrang Samadzadegan and Aaran Gallery
Fereydon Ave – Hossein Valamanesh
Shaqayeq Arabi – Hamid Arabi – Mohamad Eskandari – Nasser Bakhshi – Fatemeh Bahman Siahmard – Sahand Hesamiyan – Elaheh Hosseini – Baktash Sarang Javanbakht – Amir Nasr Kamgooyan – Shirin Mellatgohar – Nogol Mazloumi – Hooman Mehdizadeh Jafari.
Opening on 25th December at Aaran Projects.

Works assembled in this exhibition are product of poetic subjectivity of their creators; works that travel through time and space and are unrestrained by the realities of the world. Defying gravity (both as a natural force and in complexity of situation), in form and concept, these group of works suggest motion and fluidity and by blending what is stable and what is mobile, gracefully portray the uncertainties of our era and world in general.

The lyrical force of Iranian art and its gentle allegorical curves are part of the concept of this exhibition. The interaction of shifting elements, resembles the balancing act inherent in Persian poetry; the lows and highs, the melody and pace, the harsh and the soft. Forms move through time and space and return to the real world as artistic actualities, ultimately reaching a stability in which all forces are equal.

A number of artists present in this exhibition are known for their exalted style and progressive attitude, next to them we are show casing works by younger artists who are unconventional and unrestrained in their practice. The constellation of these set of works is an attempt to reveal part of what is true and persistent in Iranian art today; a boundless potential for ecstasy and agony, a consistent struggle to deny darkness and to progress despite obstacles, in other words a balancing act.



One of the distinguishing aspects of my practice is to challenge observation and visual perception. Subject matters that I choose vary from contemporary issues to classical art. References to art history and the history of seeing are inseparable to my art. Yet, I do not put art history on a pedestal as references are not there to be praised or to give joy; they rather work against each other. That is why details are so important in my work. Each of my works has a different subject matter as I do not make series. Recently I mix painting and sculpture with mechanical machines that question the nature of painting and sometimes go against the nature of creation and even ruin it.

Shahryar Hatami
December 2015



Bits And Pieces
Curated by Amir Ali Ghassemi
Opening on 27th November 2015 and will be on view until 17th December.

Presenting works by:
Talieh Kamran
Jan Matavoussian
Ardeshir Mohasses

And artists present:
Abbas Badihi – Yousha Bashir – Amirali Mohebbinejad – Alireza Malekian – Ayeh Rahimi – Bahar Vafaei – Farshad Nekoumanesh – Hooman Alizadeh Sani – Tannaz Daneshmand – Kiyan Forouzesh – Maede Jenab – Mahtab Alizadeh – Navid Salajegeh – Nazanin Aharipour – Nima Bahrehmand – Reza Behzadnia – Simin Yaghoubi – Sadegh Sadeghipour – Amir Amiri – Aydin Samami Mofakham – Martyna Kosecka – Nastaran Safaei – Saman Khosravi.

Bits And Pieces, is a collaboration of New Media Society and Aaran Gallery, that attempts to depict a world that is fragmented and floating between various medias. In the process of selection for this group project we have searched for artistic approaches that are experimental and playful in their core with parallel and intersectional tracks: works on paper and collages combined with concrete poetry, scenery juxtaposed with memory, performance in conversation with sound, video footages that combine bits and pieces, and sculptures/found objects that are gathered from the city.

The exhibition itself is a collage of generations and their different approaches and takes shape in different layers: works that have just been created and projects that have long been forgotten. Bits And Pieces, is completed with Performance, talks about Sound Art, and art in public sphere, and animation screening. These events are planned to frame the extended edges of the spirit of this open ended project.

Amir Ali Ghassemi



Presenting works by Malakeh Nayiny and:
Alireza Adambakan – Ala Ebtekar – Mohammad Eskandari – Asghar Aharipour – Mehrdad Jafari – Azam Hosseinabadi – Hamid Hemayatian – Nasim Davari – Maryam Sepiyani – Nastaran Safaei – Emitis Abbassioun – Shirin Fathi – Hadis Fakhr – Reihane Taravati – Farshid Larimian – Dehghan Mohammadi – Allahyar Najafi.

Opening at Aaran Projects on 20th November 2015.

In Arts, liberated from constraints of reason and logic, artists conceive and combine new forms that enrich our lives, in mythology too, we entertain a hypothesis, to perhaps find answers and solutions to our world which essentially is a puzzle. What if this world were not all that there is?

Humans beings are unique in retaining the capacity for play and amusement. More often than not we forget this gift. The power of imagination which forms our mental image of something that is not perceived through the five senses, should not be underestimated. It is essential to recognize the importance of this force that breaks down borders and teleports us beyond our circumstances, and abilities. A world of wondrous charm and endless stories, unrestrained fancy and extremes that challenge belief.

The artists working in the realm of fantasy, violate in a variety of ways, standard expectations by drastic experiments with subject matter, form and style. Constant fusion of every day with the fantastic, mythical and nightmarish. These trail blazers render a world that blurs traditional distinctions between what is serious, trivial, horrible, absurd or tragic.

Once upon a time, Lamassus and Griffins guarded the Capital city of Persian empire, they still do. An echo of a time where kings were transported to the sky by giant birds, and snakes growing from man’s shoulders feasted on human brain, and the white Div was defeated by the super hero and Simorgh was busy saving the albino child. A recurring magical abstractness that permits representation to take a timeless character; recalling the past, expressing hope for future and affirming continuity.



In his new series Sasan Abri utilizes color to express emotions. A choice to communicate basic human feelings that are portrayed and not explained. He delves in to the world of nature and picks one color. Like all monochrome works of art, this collection floats in the realm of emotions, where differentiation is impossible; a world of fullness and void where time is obliterated, and purity of color invites the viewers to contemplate and take one moment away from the hectic world and to stare at essence of being.
For catalogue of exhibition artist writes:
I have always looked for a haven in nature. Nature that is glorious and unpredictable and has thousands of colors. In this mass of colors, a certain color appeared in the depth of my psyche and my vision and it was transferred to the sensitive surface of film. A color that was protruding from inner depths to the exterior: Blue. And not the familiar blue, but a radiant blue which was streaming from the depths of my being and it should be called “The Ultra Blue”.
This blue is a plenary color. A finely formed color that has slowly walked in to the camera. After mixing with other colors, it slowly emerged from the depth of life and gradually and after mixing with a wide spectrum of different lights and shades, it finally settled on paper.
Patterns merged with visages and made the blue portraits. The ultra blue for me is the embodiment of the infinite simplicity of life and its meaning. A meaning that is Anthropomorphic and a beacon of hope which radiates from every living being and it is dynamic and if you look deep enough it is constant and repetitious.


In collaboration with Iranian Association of Sculptors

The very large or “colossal” statues have had an enduring appeal since ancient times, and so does small sculptures, which as personal possessions or small figurines of deities have been found all over the world.
Artists have been commissioned to create large splendid sculptures to mark events and mainly to “exhibit” power and wealth. On the contrary , generally, small sculptures have been for personal use, entwined with personal attachments, and mostly are result of impulses and desires of their creators. Throughout history refined and delicate small statues have invoked positive reaction from the viewers, who find them more appealing and intimate than the glorification that is inherent in grand sculptures. Despite their sizes the small sculptures are often more admired than large scale pieces, because of the fact that the craftsmanship in a small scale is harder to achieve, there is hardly room for error and therefore patience of the creator is always admired.
For the 9th Exhibition of Small Sculpture, 45 artists will be exhibiting their works. Works that cover a wide and appealing array of subjects and materials. What is common in these sculptures is the personal and informal approach, a sample although Small, of the personal language that each artist has applied to reveal their emotions and reflections.
In this selection, ordinary and extraordinary events are touched upon; burning of stray cats along with their guardian in a freak accident (Burnt Cat, by Elnaz Ghaemi), pleasant time spent in Manuchehri House in Kashan (by Sam Nikmaram) to yesteryears and popular women’s magazine (by Nastaran Safaei), to fragility of life (by Massih Moshtaghi)…
This exhibition is a sample of different approaches and practices of Iranian contemporary artists who are persisting on their individuality as any other contemporary human being and showcasing what is spun from the heart and woven from the soul.



Solo show by Sara Ghanbari

For her first solo show Sara Ghanbari tackles the subjects of time and memories and how our perception of life changes as time goes by. She is preoccupied with nature, and that has led her to paint on leaves and to bring in landscapes in to her paintings. In this series she illustrates a suspended space: between present and the past. In her twin paintings, the first image is painted and in the second Act, the final result is painstakingly printed with paint thinner process, and the crumbled leaves are inserted. She successfully portrays the flow of time and by re-producing the images, she raises the question of vitality and perception of memories, walking on the edge of memories.
Presence of light is evident in these paintings and is emitted to the viewer. The lightness and fragility of paintings makes them intimate and accessible to everyone; a delightful walk in the forest, a dip in the pond, a walk in the snow. The interaction between presence of light and subject matters results in almost transparent images. She honors and exalts simple acts of life. These paintings take their origin from emotions recollected in tranquility. A course that artist has chosen to heal wounds and by title of exhibition she promises to cherish and glorify the remainder of the days.



Opening at Aaran Projects on 18th September.

I am a taphographer, I make grave markers, for the past fifteen years I take pictures of graves and burials and I make frottages on epitaphs of those eliminated only to distribute them. I have also made cenotaphs. Memorials too, for the dead and the living. All these frame Curriculum Mortis. It is true to say that Curriculum Mortis is not a series. I cannot make series. Certainly one can categorise these works as broken gravestones, mourners, survivors, the anonymous, the killed, perpetual and ephemeral grave markers, the living and the dead and even a set of graves and memorials that like Flemish vanitas paintings have snails crawling on them. But in this volume there are works that are included in the exhibition and there are also works that are not. They are not included, because, they are not here, they are in cemeteries or are cenotaphs or memorials now residing in museums or in someone’s house, or I am forbidden to show them or they should not be here. On the other side, in the exhibition there are things that are not included in this publication. And there are things that are neither in this publication nor in that exhibition. This is what curriculum stands for. A curriculum is an account, it is a course. Each of these show one moment of this path. For all this, all I publish or show should bear this name. And so far there are one other exhibition and two publications by this name. I assume this would be the case forever.
Barbad Golshiri



Opening at Aaran Projects on 18th September.

Group installation exhibition and performances curated by Amir Ali Ghassemi

Artists: Atoosa Pourhosseini, Navid Salajegheh and Bahar Samadi

Semi-Dark Room is a group installation exhibition & performances taking place at Aaran projects in the last days September. The exhibition includes the installation experiences in the field of «Expanded Cinema», «Performance Art» and «Moving images installations» by the artists.
In «Semi-Dark Room» a limited source of light partially lightens the room. Light passes through series of intervening filters that sometimes depict images and at other times contain memories. In the meantime the devised machinery are important passages that regardless of their obvious logic, operate and implement changes and alterations that are for and against perception.

Semi Dark Room is part of a project titled “The Luminous Void”, other programs of this project will be on view at Lajevardi Collection and Darbast Platform. For More info and data please visit website of “New Media Society”: www.newmediasoc.com

Bahar Samadi (b.1981, Tehran)is a Tehran Paris experimental film maker.
She studied architecture in Azad University of Art and Architecture in Tehran, Iran (2006) and graduated in Filmmaking from EICAR university of Paris, France (2012).

Navid Salajegheh (b. 1981, Tehran) is a Paris based architect, urban designer and visual artist. He received his MA in Architecture from Azad Art and Architecture university of Tehran and graduated in “Architecture: city and urban project” from L’ecole nationale d’Architecture de Marseille, Marseille/France. Together with Bahar Samadi they have started Studio 51.

Atoosa Pour Hosseini (b. Tehran 1981) is an artist based in Dublin/ Ireland. She holds a
MA in Fine Art Media from National College of Art and Design, Dublin (2014), as well as BA
in Fine Art Painting at Azad University of Art and Architecture, Tehran (2007).



Solo show by Naghmeh Ghassemlou

Aaran Gallery is pleased to present latest works of Naghmeh Ghassemlou. The new series of works circles around time, and how the passage of time shapes our identity. In this highly personal series, Artist whose earlier series of works are part of permanent collection of LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum) and TMOCA, (Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art), merges her own photographs with that of her father, Reza Ghassemlou, who owned and operated “Photo Asia Shop”, in Tehran between 1950s to 1970s.
She writes: The first image of the series “Me, And My Dad”, is the result of years of probing and playing with my father’s photographs, and the idea of finding a way to connect moments of his life with mine. The challenge was to maintain the entirety of image, by connecting two separate photographs taken at two different times and places, and to connect them in a way that the least amount of separation is evident to the viewer, in other words the points of excision and connection are of outmost importance and this was my main concern. Neither of images were meant to come together, but were chosen from archive to create a third image. Although the contents of the third image are taken from the two photographs but the result is neither the first nor the second photograph. The new image has its own meaning and identity and independently stands on its own merit.



Opening on 21st August 2015 at Aaran Projects.

A selection by Behrang Samadzadegan and Aaran Gallery

Artists present in this exhibition:
Marcos Grigorian – Kamran Diba – Mohammad Hossein Emad – Mostafa Darebaghi – Korosh Ghazimorad – Mahmoud Mahroumi – Sahand Hesamiyan – Barbad Golshiri – Mona Aghababee – Reza Sedighian – Masoumeh Mohtadi – Samaneh Motallebi – Reza Eshlaghi – Aliyar Rasti – Shabnam Lohrasbi.

Historically in practice of Iranian artists -excluding possible exceptions- the lyrical, thematic, narrative or message orientated, have been the essence of creativity. All kinds of themes; phenomenal, political, social, literal, emotional, narration, and transcendent experiences, have always been at the core of artistic practice. Once the Iranian artist approaches a minimum state, such as a white or black rectangular, the process of creation leads to a rectangular of “nothingness”, or saturation of “blackness”. When they apply the repetitive geometrical shapes, the fractal is expanded in an aesthetic discipline. If they reach the black rectangular, it’s not a sign of Minimalism, but it’s in accord with the Duchampian effect of “Art is no more retinal”; Very often this same artists reach the state of “non written”, or saturation that is an indicator of incapability of language of art to carry the load of the mind.
Rhythm in many aspects of “outwardly minimal looking works of art” has a narrative scope. Because it is joined with motives that are neither necessarily minimal nor are meaningless shapes. Many of our artists are “narrators of elimination”. There are concrete cubes that hide historical tragedy. And drawings that are self exploring, methodical and minimal but playful. Or in practice of Marcos Grigorian, who after Auschwitz arrives at nonexistence and void. Or in paintings of Kamran Diba where after the elimination of news -the cover up of knowledge-, the text converts to rhythmic bulks of color. Or in works of Emad the act of elimination in conjunction with the lyrical mentality of artist, results in “deduced” forms. It’s no more possible to observe and judge the work of art without referring to the context and author’s wishes and concept. It is essential to expand the perceptions and avoid labeling of works of art. And here is the subtle point of differentiating between two concepts of “Minimal and “Minimum”. All the works presented in this exhibition are related, in the sense that with “Less” they say “More”…
Excerpts from catalogue by Behrang Samadzadegan

You are cordially invited to join us for a simultaneous opening of the Group exhibition titled “Tehran Virtual or Real,” which will be held at Aaran Gallery and will mark the opening of “Aaran Projects.”

The new space is located at No 5, Lolagar Alley, Neauphle-le-Château St.

The opening will take place between 4-8 pm on the 18th and 19th of July 2015.

Artists present in this exhibition: Sasan Abri – Asareh Akasheh – Tannaz Amin – Maryam Amir Farshi – Ghazaleh Bahiraie – Nasser Bakhshi – Dadbeh Basir – Majid Biglari – Parinaz Eleish – Ebrahim Eskandari – Mohamad Eskandari – Yashar Azar Emdadian – Maryam Espandi – Farhad Fozouni – Kamyar Kafaie – Amir Nasr Kamgooyan – Myriam Quiel – Amir Mousavi – Aliyar Rasti – Navid Rasouli – Zarvan Rouhbakhshan – Romisa Sakaki – Behrang Samadzadegan – Bahar Taheri.



Solo show by Mohammad Eskandari

Eskandari’s Butterfly Stickers
By Talinn Grigor

There is a simultaneous sense of futurity and historicity in the five large canvas paintings, and one video work, by artist Mohammad Eskandari. His superb mastery over the brush comes from having been born into an artistic family as well as a successful artistic education and career. Yet, these images are not merely an outcome of skill and upbringing. Through that inheritance, these works convey a deep insight into Iranian history, Iranian symbolism, Iranian modernity, Iranian wealth, and Iranian pain.On these canvases, Eskandari embraces the Qajar and Pahlavi pardeh khani tradition. An old Iranian artistic method, that I would trace even further back to Sassanian rock-cuts, portable paintings on large canvases (pardeh) used to illustrate the Battle of Karbala, Koranic stories, and the epic of the Shahnameh. Reviving the large-scale technique, the artist invokes other forms of historical accounts that speak so clearly about a tentative future. Thus, Eskandari selects fragments of rich architectural and geographic past: a gate, an Eyvan, a summit, and a forest collide into a future shaped by human agency that remains unresolved. Historical monuments, national symbols, fragments of natural landscape, and separate figures all hover on the painterly surface – somehow in a state of constant flux, a state of abstraction and foolishness that makes total sense. The painter speaks to his audience. The painter invites his viewer to inhabit a space of ambivalence and absurdity… a place that goes somewhere but that is certainly irresolute…
Excerpt from text by Talinn Grigor for catalogue of exhibition

Talinn Grigor (Ph.D., MIT) author of the book “Contemporary Iranian Art: From The Street To Studio”, is an Associate Professor of modern and contemporary architecture in the Department of Fine Arts at Brandeis University, Boston. Her research concentrates on the cross-pollination of architecture and (post)colonial politics, focused on Iran and India.



Solo show by Nima Alizadeh

Doonadoon, or “Jameh beh Jameh”, is the circulation of soul from one shell to another one, whether human, animal or vegetal.
The passage of time in these circles chisels its own image on human faces as if the person has lived for centuries. This collection is images of followers of “Dinyari” religion in Iranian Kurdistan, more commonly known as “Yaresan”*.
I had the opportunity to visit the area purposely to observe the festivities that is called “Khavankar”*, during which the inhabitants of villages and cities of the area gather to meet their elder in a village called “Toot Shami”*. By mid day the audience gather, and to music of Tambour, they sing their collective prayers and visit the leader and the elders. Among the more than five hundred people that were present few faces were calling to me. I invited them to be photographed with a black backdrop that I prepared, and they calmly faced my camera for few minutes and stared at the lens.
These images are a cut from a “Doon”, with gazes that are as old as humanity.
Nima Alizadeh

*Yarsanism, The Yarsan or Ahl-e Haqq,”People of Truth”, is a syncretic religion founded by Sultan Sahak in the late 14th century in Western Iran and Iraq. For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarsanism.
*Khavankar is a three day festival in mid Autumn and followers gather to celebrate it mainly in the village of “Toot Shami” in Dalahoo area of province of Kermanshah in Iran.



Solo show by Mona Aghababaee

In her organic forms, Mona Aghababaee creates both positive and negative spaces, the created works are manifestation of spaces of her mind. She integrates materials and evokes abstract forms to challenge boundaries of perception. The essence of her sculptures are the continuum of her mind. Simple organic shapes evoke figurative links and natural materials are forced to change shape, while the forms are abstract, they refer to living forms.

In the words of artist:
Objects, out of ourselves, seemingly quiescence, quite and passive; lacking subjectivity but ever present in my mind. I stare at these objects, to the point that I take their shape, I am swallowed, in a continuous spiral; perplexed and confounded to point of ambiguity, a hybrid reality.
Parasites have changed the ant, it’s neither an ant nor a parasite. The eggs of the parasite tasted and looked like food and the ant swallowed it and it became the bait. Where is the ant? What of the parasite? This transmutation, is it the reality?
….Between me and The Other, there is a consistent dialogue which erodes both of us. It molds us and is the source of our decadence…



Solo show by Nasser Bakhshi
In collaboration with Nader & Nader LLC.

Nasser Bakhshi is a self taught artist and lives far from the hustle and bustle of the Capital, in the wonderful land of Azerbaijan. He places his memories and bits of his soul and heart as well as our collective memories inside old boxes that he finds in forgotten corners of the city of Tabriz.
The assemblages have an indefinite quality. The boxes act as repositories, as if at a later time the artist will revisit these visual documentaries of his life and time, and will add his new memories and perceptions. The mundane objects next to the extraordinarily painted pieces create time capsules that are decidedly poetic. The discarded boxes and bits and pieces that were once beautiful and useful, are tenderly rearranged to whisper the story of a life. The intimate quality of these works tempt the viewer to open the boxes and drop pieces of their own life in to the mix.
The extraordinary quality of drawing and paintings create instant classics. Besides images painted from photographs as simulations of reality, the drawings are “simulation of something which never really existed”. The combination of the two genres adds to the excitement and marvel of the boxes.
While the large scale paintings stand on their own strength and beauty, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate them from the boxes. The large paintings are “details” of the paintings within the boxes; taken out of their place and accentuated, a reverse action of seeing with magnifying glass. They seem to come out of the boxes to deliver their own monologues. The boxes are accumulation of images and elements that artist lives with and they narrate the dreams and wishes, as well as failures and uncertainties of their creator; who is one of many, one of us, many of us.



Solo show by Nogol Mazloumi

It has taken Nogol Mazloumi, exactly One thousand three hundred sixty Hours and twenty-one minutes to complete the startlingly powerful drawings of this exhibition. It is an archaic attitude, one that is retention of an age old practice of Iranian artists and their interest in pen and ink drawing which is well documented to Il-Khanid period (1256-1353 AD). For centuries Iranian artists, in their solitude, have created marvelous imagery, a separate world where they have found the redeeming answer to brutality chaos and frustration that seems always to have been a part of daily life.
Nogol Mazloumi is preoccupied with notion of death and non existence. For the catalogue she writes: The notion of before and after life which is incomprehensible to us, is void. Death is a boundless void, and in its intervals life exists. Death is not performed and is not a position, it’s devoid of any act. But it contains all acts because it engulfs life. In reality It is life that happens. So in this way death is both life and it is not.
In these breath taking drawings, artist creates life and beauty out of her fixation with death. Through her lines music flows and the harmony which the eye enjoys as it passes to and fro over the compositions is soothing. Here is Phoenix rising from ashes, phoenix who is believed to possess the knowledge of all times and the netherworld. From ashes she arises to create life and wonderment. She plunges in to flames to be purified and to rise again. It is this self renewing quality in Iranian art that has been the merit and source of its survival through dark times with artists who have boldly faced their own demons and have risen above expectations, each time stronger, each time mightier.



Solo show by Arash Sedaghatkish

For Arash Sedaghatkish it is all about learning, and practice of patience, energy and time, in order to complete and to excel. This is accomplishment arrived at by great effort and determination; the strengthening of the body and the mind, the learning and the perfection of one’s skills and excellence achieved through long practice.
Through his watercolors, artist explores the boundaries of the medium, the conviction of scale in watercolor and the necessity or accordingly lack of the background. The paintings are fluid and translucent, as is water color. In these series spots of color and water come together, in a slow motion and patient manner, to create large scale paintings that their accuracy and size are contradictory to the well established genre of water color painting. The control of artist on the medium and his clarity about his subject is evident and the next act is to have the animated subjects of the paintings at the gallery to complete the installation.



Solo show by Baktash Sarang

The Tower of Babel is a story told in the Book of Genesis, of a people who spoke one language and they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them over the face of all the earth, and they ceased to build the city.*
The Tower of Babel is the story of a failed utopian project, and probably that is the common trait in all utopian projects, ideas and projects that attempt to build utopia, but find meaning in close encounter with failure and the more idealistic they are the possibility of failure is larger. If the tower of Babel ever existed, the location would have been the historical city of Babel in Mesopotamia, the region called Middle East today, where the contemporary history of the region, is not unlike the story of Tower of Babel. The region where even its current given name is a challenge by itself and its contemporary history of wars and struggles (often inflicted from outside), with waves of revolutions, civil wars, collapses and changes of Regime –all happening in short spans of time- is the embodiment of idealism and failure.
A region that seems to be fenced in and resembles a forbidden zone where ruins of many towers, in state of decay and decline, can be found. Towers that are the epitome of the idealism of their builders and quite often reminders of despotic regimes that have attempted to build their Ideological towers whilst their people are forced to live with constant fear and terror, the kind of fear that Mikhail Bakhtin called Cosmic Terror.

Solo show by Dadbeh Basir

The photographs of Dadbeh Bassir have a certain vivacity, and that is perhaps why you Encounter them. The act of ‘taking’ a photograph is not mundane to him; every detail from inception to method is thorough, and the final product gives viewers as much as it takes from them. The viewer responds to the images, and it appears that it is this reaction that the artist anticipates above all.

He weaves his personal emotions into his paced-out narratives. In his self-portraits, he faces his dilemmas; He dissects scans and x-ray films of his own body and demystifies them, and the sinister unknown becomes an object of utter beauty. In a similar approach, by juxtaposing the bland cityscape and the infinite sky – through the careful placing of the mirror, the artist creates a dreamlike world where uncertainties and fears are omitted.
The Feared Unknown is now embraced and made into the Familiar; thereby, the world is altered, tangible, and likable.
Dadbeh Bassir’s involvement with image-making is measured and profound; every single piece feels pre-determined and unwavering. Every Shot is treated as The Last Shot. His body of work appears to be a collective response to the world, whether as a series of works or single frames.

For this exhibition, he has chosen works that are visually different from each other, the cohesion is to be found through careful study of the concept of each image, and the clue will be to take the title of the exhibition as the precursor and to fit in the single pieces into the crossword.
And that is perhaps why he is simply the best-kept secret in the vibrant photography scene of Iran. This exhibition will be a rare occasion to study this brilliant image maker and his mannerism.



Solo show by Ramin Rahimi

Everything in the Universe is moving, every given spot in our planet is moving and the planet rotates around the sun and the sun rotates around Milky Way Galaxy. The molecules and atoms which make up everything are vibrating, colliding, and moving at a speed that thus far has been unreachable by inventions of human kind.
Life is a perpetual movement. The art of all arts is to capture a three dimensional contextual moment. Art is nuptials of thought and motion. Whether the motion is movement of the body of a painter while using a brush, or the three dimensional image makers‘ movement of a digital pen. Or as George Innes has observed: The true end of art is not to imitate a fixed material condition, but to represent a living emotion.

Ramin Rahimi has managed to produce motion in his art and thereby has moved away from the Fixed Image where time is suspended. He invites us to see The Sun, the perpetual movement and it’s dynamics. A call to observe the vibration of pulse of life, and simultaneously to the eloquence of silence.
In a series of digital moving-portraits and with two video pieces, he successfully transfers the constant motion of life and the rhythms of nature; the rise and the setting of sun and the return to the inception point.



Solo show by Mandana Moghaddam

Under: nedanför, nedom, lägre än, inunder,täckt av, dold av, underverk, mirakel, fenomen, kraftgärning, märklig händelse, tecken trollslag,trolleri, tur, lyckträff, stordåd, prestation, under över alla under märkligt, underligt nog,oväntade,märklig händelse, mirakel, tur…Landet:stat, nation, rike, fosterland, territorium,jordstycke, jordplätt, täppa, jord, odlingslott, fastland, fast mark, plantering, rabatt, trädgårdsland, grönsaksland,
Below, below the, less than underneath, covered, hidden by, marvel, miracle, phenomenon, strange occurrence, character, magic, lucky fluke, deed, wonder of wonders strange, oddly enough , unexpected, miracle, luck…State, nation, kingdom, homeland, territory, piece of ground, piece of land, plot, land, fast land, firm soil ,allotment, planting, garden beds, vegetable garden

Artist talk: Sunday, 23rd November, 5 pm



Solo show by Mahmoud Mahroumi

The itching of body or “what the sculpture Demands from me”
It is seventeen years since as a laborer in a factory producing concrete electrical posts, I was in charge of assembling the metal casts. My main responsibility was to make sure that the casts were properly fastened before the cement was poured. If the bolts and nuts were not properly secured, the mould would flatten or because of pressure the cement would reject the cast.
Since then concerns such as: Inhibition and discipline of materials, tightening liquidity, inner sanctums, destruction and entropy, order and modern splinting, totalitarian thoughts in application of materials, have carved a specific path for me.
Whenever I have tried to escape this hitch or play a different game, I have been caught in a different manner. As if this “entanglement” is a pleasant thing.It’s seventeen years since this itching has turned my body to a gigantic mould, and I am constantly scratching myself.
Mahmoud Mahroumi – 2012



Solo show by Kamran Diba

Kamran Diba’s cosmopolitan view of the world is reflected in recent paintings. There is no focus on local or national issues in choosing the themes and narratives. He assumes the news to be the “heart beat of human activity on earth, without it the indication of life on the earth seizes to exist” . He does not, however, focus on issues like various modes and approaches in news broadcasting, objectivity or lack of it, taking stance, and mind control through media. Regardless of the content of “global news”, he does not consider his work as being political. He believes that unlike artistic creation, politics is an issue of transient nature. The newspaper format is seemingly used as a ready-made template for painting. Even an echo of Formalist developments in Western art history might be traced in the general tendency of these series of paintings towards abstraction. In the present show the drawings have become much more simple and geometric. The previous realistic renderings have been replaced by abbreviated, geometric drawings. It is more difficult to guess about the themes and narratives, and the references have become more laconic. Major news events such as war, economy, politics and so on, are coded in pure, primary colours on the white canvas ground.
Kamran Diba’s ties to Iranian Art history are multiple and intense and his profound effect on the formative years of Iranian modern art movement is undeniable. In the same way, the course of his artistic practice strongly reflects the ups and downs of Iranian contemporary Art.
Helia Darabi – September 2014

Exhibition catalog: http://www.aarangallery.com/publications/catalog-news-clippings/



Solo show by Leila Ghandchi

Leila Ghandchi is not a feminist activist, however she is ready to saddle up her Unicorn and confront the dominating powers in quest for a sliver of joy. This is the buzz of a young confident generation of female Iranian artists who will not easily surrender their individuality and are not ready to be the sacrificial lamb.
The Majestic domes and fabulous landscapes are the playgrounds for the artist, where real populace are in daily combat with the restraining antiquated attitudes . The application of mixed media in this series are meant to represent her subconscious; sterile gauze covers wounds, mesh is restrictive, feathers are wings to fly with.

The function of three dimensional Origami forms that are flattened, carry the paintings to a three dimensional level, and the intricacy of these tangled shapes are indicative of the complexity of the characters of the society. The usage of neon lights, hidden in the back of some of the paintings, are probably reaffirmation of the ancient Persian belief in the power of light and hope.

The fluidity of the landscapes, the delicate lines and almost transparent figures, are all reflective of the delicate balance that the artist successfully creates. A world of her own, where the amphibious creatures are neither heroes nor victims. And perhaps this is another declaration of independence of the valiant Iranian females.



Solo show by Hamid Hemayatian

The Ambiguous and Distorted Historical Identity

In his paintings Hamid Hemayatian addresses the distorted linkage of historical narrative, a history that has deep roots in his own appreciation of it. Displaying historical motives seems to be an instrument to tell the story of artist’s personal feelings that he is not able to openly express. History referred to in his paintings with signs and motives, seems to be an excuse to create contradiction to reveal these subdued feelings. A feeling that within the context of distorted historical narrative, creates more ambiguity in artist’s motivation.
The paintings in their candor are vague and it appear as if the artist does not want to demystify this explicitly. The contradictions, predominantly, are a consequent of reactions to personal life of artist; or perhaps it’s a larger glance at social and political currents and that artist by inserting formal historical narrative, conceals his chief intention.



Solo show by Nasim Davari

Nasim Davari defies our aesthetic conventions. She continues her interest in hybrid forms, and elicits a sense of wonder in her mysterious creations. For the viewer it is the ultimate unknown, for artist it is her Personal Encyclopedia, her cosmology, her Ajayeb Nameh. A meta mythical fantasia in an unconscious world, an extraordinary plenitude of disorienting detail. All these vivid images and impossible juxtapositions and reveries are part of her fantasia. A world hard to adjust to but once first shock waves are absorbed and the viewer finds a new interpretation, then the bizarreness no longer appears all that unusual.
Following in footsteps of Abu Yahaya Zakariya Qazwini, the 13thcentury Persian intelligentsia; Geographer, Astronomer and extraordinary writer, who created the immensely popular “Marvels of Creatures and the Strange Things Existing”, our young artist pictures the perplexing creatures that in her case reside in her own subconscious.
Each painting is an independent work but they are all linked with threads and colors and composition, allowing the viewer to glide in this incredible world. It’s best not to try and explain but to float in the magic that she creates. Stepping away from these paintings the world is once again factual and mundane.

Abu Yahya Zakariya’ ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini (أبو یحیی زکریاء بن محمد القزویني) or Zakariya Qazvini (Persian: زکریا قزوینی) ‎(1203–1283) creator of titled “Marvels of Creatures and the Strange Things Existing” (عجائب المخلوقات وغرائب الموجودات).
Qazwini also wrote a futuristic proto-science fiction titled; Awaj bin Anfaq (أوج بن أنفاق), about a man who travelled to Earth from a distant planet. – Wikipedia



Solo show by Aliyar Rasti

Questioning notion of time, Aliyar Rasti will present six video art works that have been in making for almost two years. These works are a play between staged and documentary image-making; by documenting real time events in Long Takes and deluding the essence of time, he attempts to create loops. Continuous moving images that are trapped in time.

Born in 1988 and an ardent student of renowned film maker, Kamran Shirdel, using his considerable technical skills by applying long takes and invisible cuts , he successfully creates an illusion of continuity, perhaps his own personal reality.

For this exhibition he writes:

Occurrences do not begin but are a continuous eternity

In passage of time we arrive to a point of occurrence
and experience it.
Based on our experiences we categorize occurrences
and create borders.

Borders break down the polarity of Being
and credence repetition.



Solo exhibition by Mehdi Eshlaghi

This exhibition is the result of my wonderings in the place and time that I am born in. It is thirty odd years that every corner of this city is rooted in my memories but I still lose my way. The city that I have grown up in, that we have grown up together, without guiding signs and no one to show the way. A geographical point, between Caspian Sea and the Capital, A passageway that has absorbed millions of people, where the inhabitants remain migrants and everyone belongs to another place.
“Karaj, Long Shot” is the title of a series that despite first impressions is not a Non-place, each image in fact is a reflection of an exact place and time, where day has turned to night and night to day. And ultimately it’s not a painterly visualization of a lived experience in a city, but it is a review of the reality in a city that seems to be centuries old.

The series is a test between choices and reflections of ugliness and beauty, right and wrong, as well as a choice between things that one can not chose among. A visualization of the battle between day and night; the illusion of rightfulness of one and decay of the other one. The Image of a terra nullius, a place between hallucination and reality, that one has probably witnessed at time of birth. And it appears that till the end we may never fully trust the light nor fear the darkness as much as we ought to.

The result is eight paintings, half day and half night, that continue in to each other. Perhaps a not so definite answer to the eternal question: that as far as time immemorial, light is born from darkness and dawn from dusk. And it’s only color that will give them both meaning and life.

Mehdi Eshlaghi. Spring 2014



Solo exhibition by Siamak Filizadeh

I will rule you in a different manner, if I stay alive…
Attributed to Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah at the hour of his death

A vast city that slowly breaths in the dark depths of the earth. An ancient city, as old as the history of Human despotism. A high wall embraces the city. A wall that according to orders of The King, is decorated with patterns of love.
The King that every fifty years, at an exact date and hour is assassinated. The funeral ceremony that is held is more elaborate every time with the crumbling Tomb built even larger.
The next day The King rises from his tomb and goes to the palace, and his dominion is repeated with no alteration.
It is said that The King has made a pact with the angel of death, and there are others that believe that the citizens of the city are recalling his name in their hearts and ask God to return him to them.
The History of this city has been written once and for eternity, it has a circular motion , where the beginning is the end.
The Name of This City is “Under Ground”.



Solo exhibition by Allahyar Najafi

The story that you narrate is similar to installing colored glass on the windows of your house. Whatever is out there, whatever is moving, you get to see the colored glass and the darker or lighter shadows behind them. The story that you tell is not about the depth of life, it’s a recounting of passage of life. Your story is a patchwork of sub-stories, petty stories that not a lot of people care to tell.

The two and half dimensional imagery that are sold at the corner of the streets tell their own tale as well. One winks, the other ones jumps from the wolf to tiger and tiger to eagle, another shows the depth of forest. The final image is similar to what you get to see behind your colored windows. You see “what” you want to see. And there is no particular reason for it. And it’s not even necessary to explain it. It’s your story, the wink of the other, or the story of another one. A patchwork which is just like life. Each part exists for a reason. Very much like a fly that flutters to leave, but gets to change the air around us and it doesn’t even know it.



Solo show by Elika Hedayat

Elika Hedayat addresses aspects of exploitation, indifference, injustice and degradation of public life. She pictures the subaltern citizens and the essential duplicity necessary for their existence, duplicity that is evident in relationship of deceiver and deceived. The “chain” of bodies in her work makes it impossible to recognize who is or is not a victim.
The characters are determined to be noticed, they insist to be seen. The self satisfied populace with their absolute perseverance to Exist. Her work is decidedly disturbing and at the same time they are portrayals of parts of society, ranging from ridiculous to parody. Incomplete or mutilated bodies, bodies without locations. They stand without a beginning or end and evidently with no direction.
Elika Hedayat, with precision and unapologetically invites us to reflect on the hypocrisy and chaos that governs the streets of Tehran. These are snap shots of parts of our society, reminding us of the vulgarity, exhibitionism and under lying tensions of Petit powers.
It is an art that can be understood in the disorder of the reality that it is portraying. But it also shows us that as long as our progressive artists are willing to push the limits, by the mere fact of their existence they are the denial of the darkness. And there lies the strength of Iranian art and promise of a far better future.



Solo show by Arita Shahrzad

Ode To A Garden Carpet – By an unknown Sufi Poet (Circa 1500)
Here in this carpet lives an ever-lovely spring; Un-scorched by summer’s ardent flame, Safe too from autumn’s boisterous gales, Mid winter’s cruel ice and snow,’Tis gaily blooming still. Eyes hot-seared by desert glare find healing in its velvet shade. Splashing foundations and rippling pools, In cool retreats sore-wearied limbs restore, And tired hearts awake with joy once more. The way was cruel.
Baffled by monotony and mocked by phantoms delirious, Beset by stalking Death in guises manifold; The dreaded jinns, the beasts ferocious, The flaming heat and the exploding storms; Form all these perils here at last set free; In the Garden all find security.
Here the long-laboring Earth at last gives birth. From apparent death, a new and lovely world is born; Below the desert’s dusty floor, the jacinth imprisoned lies. The stony wilderness so bleak and bare, In ageless patience broods, aware of a life within, the promise of fertility and abundance. Ever longing for deliverance. The world at last reveals its destiny.
Can we not then capture and restore The loveliness that gave us hope, Still brightly mirrored on memory’s gliding waters Or snared in the poets’ invisible net, So wide, so fragile, Yet captor and conqueror of realities elusive?
Wrought in gold and azure, bright as carved metal. Dream-like foliage in sparking tones is caught, Or else, in sumptuous shades of glossy lacquer, Quiet but intense; in muffled browns and honey pure, Jasper cool and mellow cinnabar, That fairy land comes real again.
In sudden collisions find sweet embrace; In rhythms enchanting, with stately pace, Or rollicking speed; emerging, retreating, Reversing, in peaceful finality . Their conflicts reconcile, All in confederation blending Like a chorus in part-song gladly singing, In contrapuntal play rejoicing, Floating soft or wildly free; Yet anchored in eternity.



Solo show by Behdad Lahooti

“Zokhrof” is gold, it is the ideal beauty, adornment and elegance of things and yet, it connotes beautiful lies, much like adorned ravings or seductive talks. Thus, none of these pieces are adorned with gemstones and the series is called “Prong” a claw-shaped type of binding used for mounting gemstones to the jewelry item. All is thus ready for prong setting, yet there are no gems.
All sculptures of the series are devoid of both function and decoration and beautifully crafted prongs remain empty. Paradoxically things have lost their function, as well as their essence of beauty and have turned to a different thing and yet, through the process of refining have gained a seductive beauty of another order.
Excerpted from the catalogue of the exhibition, foreword by Barbad Golshiri



Solo show by Sasan Abri

In the hidden corners of this turbulent and ever changing city that claws and tears it’s own historic flesh asunder to devour it in the name of progress, leaving nothing but a monstrous creature, a few trees still stand tall. Trees, often pines, that hide something in their shadows as if to protect it. They are guardians of the past; guardians of spaces in the territory of a lost time when there was still art in laying brick upon another brick. Yellow bricks dormant in silent uninhabited walls. The pines are the main emblem of these houses. They herald from afar that they are surrounding and watching over a building that has long gone to sleep. Barely breathing, yet still beautiful, with a living identity. You can still hear their sound, the sound of pale yellow. The sound of crows and sparrows, the sound of lightening and relentless rain, the sound of the incessant honking of generations of cars and bulldozers and the battle cry of electrical saws and the thunder of iron and concrete that draws ever closer.
Sasan Abri



Solo show by Rene Saheb

The rebirth of our language in its new form after Arab invasion is accredited to grand poets such as Rudaki, Daghighi, Ferdowsi, Unsuri and many others. They used poetry to revive not only the language but the values, history and customs of Ancient Persia. However it was the successful oral transfer of Persian history, by performing groups or individuals, called “Gusans” that laid the foundation and carried the burden particularly in the two centuries after the invasion.
A great part of Iranian heritage is carried through orally and the ability and tendency to versify every day expressions is a two millennia practice. One such practice was reciting poetry during the longest night of the year, the Eve of Yalda*, with family and friends sitting around a stool like frame of wood, covered with blankets, under which a fire was placed for heating. These stools are called “Korsi”. The tradition of “Korsi Sher” was recitation of classical poetry which could easily become satirical and humorous once the night dragged on. The poetry reading of this tradition is still alive but Korsi’s are removed from households.

This exhibition coinciding with the longest nights of the year, in its own way is an attempt at reviving the tradition of Korsi-Shehr. Rene Saheb the young artist present a series of works that are based on proverbs inspired by the poetry of Iran. They are fables, animal tales with a moral, dramatic personae that behave like people, communicating ideas or truth in a metaphorical manner. These animals appear in mono episodes and their ethical and moral teachings are interpretation or continuation of another age old tradition that started with the legendry book of “Kalila Wa Demna” and “The City of Birds” of Poet Attar Nishapuri, and recently the much admired “City of Tales” of Bijan Mofid.

* Gusans: poets and musicians, a well respected social class in pre Islam Iran, who had the combined responsibility of memorizing and reciting old poetry often with historical subtext as well as musical entertainment. The origins of word is Parthian and the tradition dates back to Median era.
* The Eve of the Yalda has great significance in the Persian calendar. Shab-e Yalda is a time of joy and celebration. The night marks the birth date of Mithra,( who was born out of the light that came from within the Alborz mountains), and has been celebrated as the triumph of the sun god over the powers of darkness.
Centuries after the cave people of the Persian Plateau came together to watch the sunrise, today family and friends gather to feast and recite poetry and tell stories.



Solo show by Alishia Morassaei

Tension, heartbeat, stress, hurrying around, attempting to flee, …
We wish we could be smaller, to change dimension, or to turn the clock back.

Later on we take a step back and review the incidentو the bitterness and stress of the day is forgotten, and we are confronted with a story that we retell in detail and with pomposity and together we laugh about it.
We come to believe that we have played a real hide and seek game.
Alishia Morassaei



Solo show by Ebrahim (Amin) Eskandari

Two nights prior to success of revolution in Iran, on 9th February 1979, while the Iranian National TV was broadcasting the meteorological report of the day, and announcing that Tehran’s weather will be sunny and partly cloudy and windy, the garrison at Doushan Teppe, the educational center of Iranian Air Force, which was housing hundreds of cadets at it’s dormitory, became the scene of contention between The Special forces and protesting cadets.
Once shooting began people were informed and immediately surrounded the garrison and began demonstrating. Meanwhile groups of people found their way in to the base and took hold of weapons and barricaded the surrounding streets. Finally the armory of the garrison was captured at 10 am on 10th February. Thousands of hand written messages were circulating in the city announcing availability of weapons for whoever had completed military service. And this was how the intervention of air force cadets changed everything in favor of the people.
Ebrahim Eskandari



Solo show by Marzieh Fakhr

Excavating the backgrounds is the most attractive part of painting for me. Even when I look at a face, instead of searching for the Subject within the depths of their eyes, as I am supposed to do, I look at the backdrop and all that surrounds the character. All of us are immersed in our backgrounds, we are part of the cadre, and are quite capable of excavating and exploring them.
When I look at my paintings the themes fade away against the beauty of the scenery. The same backgrounds that engulf the subject and give them meaning, a vague and variable comprehension, just like our everyday life. At every given moment we are positioned in a specific background and very often we carry on without paying attention to the meaning of the picture that we have been framed by, and this is a fact of life that what surrounds us distracts us from the true meaning of life, at the same time the whispers that invite us to unmask and demystify are present. For me the scenery is where the human dreams land and to that end the act of painting is my most important concern.
Marzieh Fakhr



Group show to commemorate 60th anniversary of Coup d’etat

Artists: A-Petgar (1914-1992), Bahman Jalali (1944-2010), Ahmad Aali, Rana Javadi, Mohamad Mehdi Tabatabaie, Farsad Labbauf, Behrang Samadzadeghan, Barbad Golshiri, and Mohammad Eskandari

And screening of Documentary film “Remembering A National Leader” by renowned director, Hossein Torabi.

Sixty years ago in august 1953 a coup d’etat orchestrated by British and American governments removed Dr.Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882 –1967), the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, from power and changed the fate of millions of people in this part of the world.
Dr. Mosaddegh was imprisoned and endured solitary confinement for three years, then he was put under house arrest until his death in 1967. Only a handful were allowed to attend his funeral, and he was buried in the living room of his house in Ahmadabad. He lies in his land deprived of a tombstone.
For decades there has been frequent attempts to obliterate his name from public life and even deny his image from the people of this ancient land. This exhibition while not attempting to, has in fact unearthed and discovered works of art that have been hidden in archives and store rooms. In a humble way this exhibition is a tribute to this extraordinary nobleman and a show of denial to those who still believe that the history is written by conquerors.



Solo show by Mohammad Eskandari

When a tuneless balance, weights up hope and despair in it’s two scales, a dynamic passivity is created.
To feed the hungry, the herd of gazelles is diminished. Some migrate and the worn outs are hunted out, yet if there are no gazelles left in the plains, tigers and hyenas will have the same fate.
This exhibition is the result of the same passivity that appears to be dynamic, for a three-year time stands between its inception and completion.
Mohammad Eskandari

Solo show by Behrang Samadzadegan

From the perspective of a third world artist, and a protégé of post-colonial era, I look at my time, history, and place as well as art. Art, in my belief, is not politics as it has no dominant role in relations of power. Furthermore, it cannot be considered as entertainment either, inasmuch as art in many modes keeps its’ distance from tastes of the masses. Thus, it cannot be entertaining. From my point of view, art can observe what happens in the world and through the history and can raise questions, but cannot change anything. It can only tease the “systems and hierarchies”, the ones which are ascendant in realms of art, history, society and power. In fact, I attempt to respond to the history, to the historical continuum of being subjected by systems. I try to reveal the unseen experience of the lived history, and expose the silent side of it. Nevertheless, I do not succeed! Since my work is incapable of representing anything. It is, indeed, trying to bring something to present that is here and is not. I disregard rules of the art scene and use any kinds of readymades. I change their essence and create my own interpretations.
My art is impotent! It cannot change anything, nor protect anyone. However, it may be able to hint at dark ditches between truth and reality. It may also be able to mess with the systems; from deterring systems of art scene to “meta-narratives” of power and history, which can be teased in ironic approaches, instead of being accepted incontrovertibly.
The result may seem ironical, but indeed it is nothing but a huge absurdity. In fact, if I would endeavor to represent one thing, that would be the “absence”; the historical schism in links between fact and truth.
Behrang Samadzadegan

Solo show by Hadi Alijani

For his second solo show Hadi Alijani draws inspiration from his detailed study of “Noskh e Behbahan”, a magnificent illustrated book which is now kept at Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.
The rich literature of Iran, our fine arts with its hundreds of years of history, as well as the ever present Iranian satire, are all instruments that Alijani uses in his path to uniqueness. The successful transfer of an older visual tradition in to bold canvases is indicative of the tactful intelligence of a young artist that does not blindly follow western artistic styles.

Solo show by Master Ahmad Aali

My name is Ahmad Aali (aka Boyouk Aga), son of Sakinah (aka Galin Aqa) and Mostafa. Born in 1935 in Tabriz, I am a graduate of photography. My birth certificate bears the number 22. For the past several years this number, 22, has showed up in different “Audio/visual” forms in my life, reminding me of something that I am yet to discover.
In 1935, the Kandovan tunnel opened. In the same year Ahmad Shamlou turned ten. Mansour Ghandriz was also born in the same year in Tabriz. This is the year the German Photographer, Dieter Appelt, was born. Also in this year is Hossein Aqa Shiyassi. Every single month, give or take few days, for the past forty years, I have been sitting on the chair of his barbershop. I have fallen asleep to the tune of his scissor and the buzz of his electric razor. It was him who cut my pony tail to crew. There are many others who were born in 1935 but there is no need to mention them here.
I confess that I fell in love three consecutives times; at 14, with painting; at 25, with photography and at 42, with Mina Nouri. The last one complemented the previous two.
From the book “Aali’s Book”, Nazar Publishing House

Solo show by Baktash Sarang

The Archive of Suspension is a collection of images that mark points of suspension, a set of points that start to develop from the day one is born. Due to constant and chronic presence of death and nothingness, they develop into heavy and unknown spots in our private space, like black holes in a galaxy that swallow everything. Nothing, not even light, can escape from their gravitational fields.
‪Although this private space, now filled with suspension points, ‪dangles between ‪”the Will to Live” together with the injustice and torment that fill the world on the one hand and death and nothingness on the other, but constantly revolts against ‪it’s outer space, builds a‪n‪ enclosure around itself and remains a personal space; a space that ‪defies the systematic definitions of the outer world and thereby acquires a‪ rather unknown form in the process and finally, ‪the only permanency it finds is the very permanency of collapse – the collapse of the worlds around it.

Curated by Behrang Samadzadegan and Aaran Gallery

Artists: Tanaz Amin, Aylene Bahmanipour, Hasan Kamali, Mona Kheirabadi, Nogool Mazlomi, Mehrdad Mirzapour, Keyhan Nabavi, Aliyar Rasti, Hanieh Sadri, Rene Saheb, Elnaz Salehi, and Farzad Shekari

By Parkingallery Projects in collaboration with Aaran Gallery, Mooweex.com and Saroseda

For six days, January 11th – 16th, 2013, Aaran Gallery will host a series of events and screenings of videos, experimental films, animations and sound pieces and performances. The program hours will be from 3 to 8 pm everyday.

For daily program download: http://aarangallery.com/uploaded_files/Daily%20program.pdf
For catalog of the festival download: http://www.aarangallery.com/uploaded_files/limited-access-ex.pdf

Limited Access Team (Fourth Edition)
Festival Director: Amirali Ghasemi (Parkingallery Projects – Tehran)
Program Coordinator: Shahrzad Malekian
Guest Curators: Anahita Hekmat (Paris), Sona Safaie (Toronto), Arash Khakpour (Mooweex – Tehran), Arash Salehi (Saroseda -Tehran), and Ryan B. Willie (Free From Film Festival -San Francisco)

Festival’s History
Founded in early 2007, Limited Access, International Festival of Video, Sound and Performance celebrates its 6th year-anniversary in January 2013 at Aaran gallery. The Tehran based Festival, naturally evolved from Parkingallery’s Video Archive, an ongoing project documenting the diverse and fragmented new media scene both in Iran and abroad since 2004. Limited Access collaborates with individuals, collectives and archive projects across the globe.

About Parkingallery Projects
Parkingallery is an independent project space based in Tehran, started in 1998 originally as a temporary exhibition space, and graphic design studio. Parkingallery’s Video Archive The video archive of Iranian and International artists, has been launched in 2004 ; we collect, keep and update the artworks for educational and non commercial purposes, we also promote the work by organizing screenings, artist/expert talks and presentations along with exhibiting them in Iran and abroad.

About Saroseda
Saroseda is a creative initiative which is trying to make new sonic and visual projects by integrating technology, science, interactive environments and Audio Visual programming platforms. Saroseda by different pose to mainstream tries to reach new forms in Iranian Contemporary Art scene by introducing the potential of collaboration between different disciplines in the shape of organizing workshops and jamming of computer based artists.

About Mooweex
The mooweex internet cinema was launched to show selected works by Iranian film-makers. The cinema shows a broad spectrum of films including documentaries, fictions, video clips, animations and video arts. On mooweex you can watch the work of new artists as well as a number of old and rare Iranian films. The cinema gives easy access to some exceptional works including a number of international prize winners. The aim of the collection is to provide a deep insight into Iranian culture which is not achievable by any other medium in the same way.

Solo show by Kourosh Ghazi Morad

I have transformed myself in the zero of form
I have destroyed the ring of the horizon and got out of the circle of objects
Kazimir Malevich

The monochrome works of art are inexplicable, a mysterious presence that resists interpretation. The appearance suggests simplicity and unity, which masks a potential paradox. Monochrome has two foundations, mystical and actual, a spiritual search for a transcendental experience and the wish to emphasize the material presence of the object as a concrete reality and not an illusion.
The artists, who are committed to monochrome, adhere to the unity and indivisibility of the practice not as a style but as a personal stance: a view of the world. Replacing the figurative icon with an abstract consciousness related to the mystical doctrine of perceiving the unity of being.
In our part of the world, Sufi mysticism gives priority and meaning to the monochrome. According to Sufi doctrine, the monochrome is the realm of God, where differentiation is impossible. The loud colors of self and passion are obliterated. The spiritual world has one color. A world of fullness and void, devoid of time and color. In white there is the least amount of shadow, a purity that invites us to contemplate, to take one moment of silence away from the hectic world. This is reduction of art in to its essence.

Solo show by Newsha Tavakolian

This time, closer than ever and in my own house, I fixed my camera on a tripod; in front of the window where I’d watched the same view of the city for ten years, a city that I don’t know if I love or not. A window that opens on to many other windows that are all closed and I cannot see into. This is the story of others. The others that I know and their stories. I have captured moments from their stories in this room and within the frame of a window that looks upon the cold and hazy view of My City.
Newsha Tavakolian

At the same time an earlier series of work by Newsha Tavakolian, titled “Mother’s of Martyrs” is on display among a selection of photography from Middle East at Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK.

Solo show by Negar Varasteh

Certain types of mirrors were imported to Iran from Venice in sixteen century. The pieces that were broken along the route were ingeniously incorporated by Iranian artists into the walls of the grand buildings of that era and thus started a tradition that lives on. Mirror is a metaphor for light and lucidity. The geometrical cuts that are achieved using diamond – one of the purest of substances- reduces from the homogeneity of the surface, but it accentuates the glitter ten folds. Once you immerse in this radiance and glow, it appears as if you have reached the other side, for this perception you need to believe in light.
Negar Varasteh

Group show of video, installation and sculpture

Curated by Mahoor Toosi

Artists: Mohamed Eskandari, Saffaeddin Emami, Caraballo Farman, Behzad Hatefi, Ali Honarvar, Siamac Sariolghalam, Nastaran Safaei, Hamed Rashtian, Parvin Shokri, Sepideh Taraqi, and Mahoor Toosi

This is not an exhibition about America, rather it is about us, and what we yearn to realize, about what motivates us and what disappoints, it’s a reflection on us. America has long been discovered and continuously changes. In our search to understand it, each time we encounter new paradoxes, fashioned by our inner faculty: hyper-reality, the land of promises, a desert devoid of culture, the New World. These assumptions vary according to the place on Earth that we live in; As if the existence of America depends on its outer reflection. America is not limited to 77 longitude and 39 latitude, it is not simply a piece of land bordering the Tropic of Cancer and Arctic Circle. Depending on where you stand in the world your perception changes and in order to understand yourself and where you are, you are obliged to look at it. This synthesis happens in different ways and manners and this time we offer our own, from a distance of 11469 Km from the center.
Mahoor Toosi

Video, installation, photography and painting by 12 female young artists.

Artists: Sara Abri, Abnous Alborzi, Mona Aghababaee, Ghazaleh Bahiraie, Nahid Behbodian, Sara Ghanbari, Leila Ghandchi, Anahita Ghassemkhani, Sepanta Ghassemkhani, Fatemeh Fakhraimanesh, Marziyeh Fakhr, and Alishia Morasaie

Solo show by Mandana Moghaddam

Albert Camus once wrote: ”We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them to the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others”. This is an incredibly beautiful sentence with an important ethical imperative concerning the art of fighting the roots of darkness. But how is darkness fought without suppressing it? By forgetting it? Shouldn’t the ethical imperative instead involve admitting the darkness, grief and pain, giving these undesirable phenomenon bearable forms so that others can also experience them? This is where art comes in, as a link between the incompatible – reconciliation between the irreconcilable. And yes, certain things cannot be reconciled with and some wounds must be reopened constantly.
From a text by Sinziana Ravini: The Promises of Grief

Show by Ebtehaj Ghanadzadeh and Amin Meysami

I would have never believed that a photograph could look exactly like reality. At the same time, no photograph is anything but reality. The fact that a photographer selects a frame through the lens of his camera is an example of how he has interfered with that particular reality. This is because only a small portion of reality has been framed and the larger remaining portion has been consciously ignored and omitted. But we cannot deny that this particular frame has been selected, it’s not reality, the only reality is that which we, as the audience, observe from the perspective of the photographer, a selected reality, free and without borders. It is not always necessary for us to search for a captured version of external reality; because our minds are also reality. We can choose to go one step further, and select the reality that is within our minds and arrange it and remember it the way we want. It is only necessary for us to stand and see reality through the eyes of Ebtehaj and Amin. I don’t know why these days everyone seems to be leaving.
Reza Kianian

Solo show by Master Ibrahim Haghighi

What kind of reaction should the viewer have to Ibrahim Haghighi “still lives”?
Haghighi attempts to get closer to the “still life” paintings of the Renaissance era and to find similarities near and distant, with the post-Medieval ages in order to see what reaction he can invoke in the audience. In reality, his photographic narrative in this particular selection is evident and defies any explanation. However, the important question remains that in these times of violence, when the Iranian society has come face to face with the ugliness of aggression, that has penetrated different levels of the communities, what can an artist do to help the society?
On the other hand, aren’t photographs of severed animal heads that the photographer ordered from the butcher an act of violence that transforms Ibrahim Haghighi’s role from an artist to an executor and a portrayer of violence? Artist shows an ugly scenario, something that we must avoid, an unavoidable reality that we are exposed to anyhow, and at times we even becomes players in such dramas.
In Ibrahim Haghighi’s “still life” images, the layout and symbols are in obvious conflict with what we have come to comprehend of this specific philosophy in Renaissance art. Artists of the era derived inspiration from fruits, food, and objects and hunted animals . Such artists were able to freely create and harvest their talents, delivering beautiful works, which despite absence of direct signs of violence and aggression, depicted the act of Hunting. For these artists the foreground was just as important as the background and they did not shy away from this fact.
Similarly, Ibrahim Haghighi has approached “still life” in same manner, in that the foreground displayed in his work, although seemingly simple and inconsequential is in fact worthy of attention. Even though the background and lighting accurately convey his message, he consciously directs our attention to the foreground, where we are faced with a perceptively created layout and lighting, which is in contrast with the background, thus resulting in the work having a dual meaning. This poetically violent images are not unlike the real images experienced in our present society. Without a doubt, if these images included bowls of fruit or seasonal flowers, the poetry of the work would be vulgar, but with the present arrangement, the artist’s poeticism depicts a violence that is the paradox of our time and even shows our role in promoting this violence, a fact that is utterly undeniable. Finally, it is his fascination with the history of art and the influence he gained from it that makes his work thought provoking and appealing.
Mahmoud Reza Bahmanpour

Solo show by Ebrahim Khadem Bayat

Ebrahim Khadem Bayat is a documentary photographer on his way to becoming an artist with a camera. This is a happy marriage where strong concept and superb experienced technique meet. I have been witness to this evolution. He first came to me to photograph and document my art collection and during the Last ten years I have criticized and encouraged him to do his own personal work. He had turned his lens actively on the landscape of his shattered society. He offers and answers but puts the viewers at a turning point on the road. The road a picture-window of our surroundings and it’s progression: the sky a reflective mood mirror. These passive fish-eye- panoramas are reminiscent of moody hell and holocaust. And very classical in their symmetry and order. Definitely an evolution in progress.
Fereydon Ave

At age of 25, Reza Eshalghi is among the most promising sculptors of his generation. His latest series is a depiction of Court of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1831-1896). A fresh look at ugliness and beauty, a parody to show repetition of history. Raising the question : is anything new under this ancient Blue sky. In words of artist: This is a theatrical narrative which in the first scene circles around itself and then recoils into its own inception. Once it reaches the end, the past is forgotten. The first scene begins in repetition and the second scene is played with only a modest change in the veneer of the story. And we become a repetitious part of a forgotten history, but with new apparatus, in a circle of time that has been corroded by the dust of oblivion, and our footsteps remain same as the black stripes across a white surface, same as the darkness that endures in a spiral void…
Solo show by Arash Hanaei

This exhibition brings together four different projects: The Blissful Artist/Arriving Shoes/Empty/Earth series are installed as an inhomogeneous collage whose content can correlate at least at one point. These projects together juxtapose different topics in one single domain and are considered either unfinished or in progress. The Blissful Artist is a character in contrast to the image of an idealist artist which is sometimes a dreamer, sometimes an illusionist, sometimes desperately blissful and sometimes a wanderer. There are times when The Blissful Artist holds onto the events and there are times he clings to the images in his head without pursuing any objective or trying to form whilst he is being productive. The Blissful Artist believes that uniformed homogenous series abolishes individualist values and drives him to a certain repetition and an absolute commitment to the interlocutor to the extent where the conclusion is interpreted as the final objective. The Blissful Artist insists on the variety of forms and accentuates the color and the ambiance to the point of confining the concepts to their synonyms in order to bestow the responsibility of interpretation to the interlocutor. For instance in the “Empty” part, the concept of being void which is constantly followed by philosophical notions, is being mocked by the use of ordinary images of empty boxes, unsolved labyrinths, unloaded guns and ornamental flowers framing nothing or in the other words here, the void becomes voided.

Solo show by Mehran Saber

Mehran Saber combines within the same frame, creatures and elements normally not found together to produce illogical and startling effects. The philosophical and visual aspects of the paintings make up emotionally powerful and poetic reality of his latest works. The dream-like qualities of the paintings makes you wonder if the painter has worked while in trance, whether he has sleep-walked through creation. His images are pure creation of the mind .Reality is dismissed and even Surrealism is distorted. The objects and personages are almost three dimensional, and seem to be floating in a world of their own , in a bubble , inviting the viewer to step in to this wonderful color palette. The illogical world of the artist is governed by the strength of dreams, a world of his own. He successfully transfers his emotions and turmoil’s but also creates scenes and objects that are complete and precise. A perfect balance.

Solo show by Nazanin Pouyandeh

Nazanin Pouyandeh juxtaposes her memories and the outside world. The energy emanating from her paintings are transmissions of her cross cultural identity. In majority of the paintings, she creates a world of her own where the landscapes are glorious and often magical. Characters fill up the paintings in the predetermined pose as defined by the artist, each playing their own role, posed for eternity. The landscapes, trees and rocks are often hiding secrets and imagery thus inviting the viewer to excavate and find the deeper layers. The paintings are summons to explore a world that is illogical, and frozen in time. There is at the same time something familiar and foreign in her works. A familiarity and sincerity that is attractive and yet puzzling.The world seems to be a fusion to her, east meets west and they merge effortlessly. She is a unique painter and an explorer who seems to have listened and learned the history of the whole world, all of it’s stories and fables and is able to visually transfer them to her paintings. The power of her imagination is overwhelming so is the harmony of her colors. Perhaps it’s best not to try and explain her work, but to float in the beauty of the world she creates.

Solo show by Amir Mousavi

Playing with the forms that exist in his surroundings without the slightest change in them is Amir Mousavi’s passion. Repeating the firm elements next to the variable ones and finding different points of concentration are his usual practice. In his new series “ The Wonderland “ he documents the new Murals of Tehran. Time stands still, as if the walls of the city are staring back at the viewer. The mural paintings of Tehran transform to photographs and once they are printed on canvas , they are resurrected as paintings. The play of shadow and light and the resilience of artist in capturing just the right angle, are what makes him stand out from the rest. In his own words: “‌In the same way that it’s pointless to try and put a specific meaning to poetry, I do not attempt to explain my photographs. I just know that I do not have any critical, social, documentary or conceptual approach to photography. I began with painting and arrived at photography. from the beginning I loved surfaces, and the flattest of surfaces were walls, which for me have a life of their own.”‌

On 22nd September 1981, at exactly 12 am Baghdad time, 192 Iraqi combat Aircrafts took off from their bases for targets deep inside Iranian territory. The second wave of Iraqi attacks came around 3 pm. By late afternoon Bushehr Tactical Air Base retaliated by attacking targets in Southern Iraq. Thus started a bloody war which lasted for 8 long years, consuming hundreds of thousands of lives and irrevocably changing the lives of millions more, with enormous social and economical damage to both countries. Alan Clark , British Minister of State for Defense (1982-1989), acknowledged long after, “The interests of the West, were best served by Iran and Iraq fighting each other, and the longer the better. 30 years after the war began, for the first time a small group of artists from both countries are coming together to Share their sufferings.

The exhibition includes photography of Jassem Ghassbanpour, the renowned Iranian Documentary photographer, whose extensive archive of photographs is a time line of this devastating war. The photographs on show are not the gruesome images of the dead soldiers, which he has lovingly recorded, but this selection is as anti-war as it can be. Innocence lost, lives shattered, trusts betrayed.

Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi-born artist living in the United States, joins the Iranian artists in this exhibition to war, absence, and remembrance. “A Call,” a performance and video projection, presents the corporal impact of war and commemorates the Iranian and Iraqi people who lost their lives, along with those who are often overlooked or left behind. Over 80 Iranian performers will take part in this memorial to the dead and the living. Bilal will be attending the exhibition remotely, from a parallel opening at White Box, an art space in New York City. A live video feed will be streamed on the White Box’s walls ,this mediated performance will enact the dislocations, delays, and ruptures that war breeds.

Baktash Sarang Javanbakhat, the youngest of three artists, was born on the same year that the deadly conflict began. He appears to be consumed with human sufferings, particularly the type that is inflicted on humans by humans. Very much like his peers he has lived with consequences of a devastating war which happened right after an earth shattering revolution. He belongs to the Golden generation of Iranian Artists who believe in integrity of Humans despite all that has come to pass.

Show by Majid Biglari, Ebrahim Eskandari and Hamid Hemaytian

The Chief told the Endangered Spicy that from now own he is better suited to make decisions for his own carrot. Procreation became the order of the day and soon enough the creatures could live a dreamlike life. The Unknown became the executor of the Pattern for Development… a comprehensive policy prevented extinction of species. Animated entertainment replaced drugs and prostitution. Based on a five year plan it was determined that the population of endangered species ought to rise and extinction erased.
Majid Biglari

Room No 22 is a installation about a set moment. A day that has passed. Objects and appliances that invoke common memories. A mutual feeling raised from depth and brought in to surface. A tedious voice used as a language to depict the vague story that is roaming behind the walls of the houses. Artist anticipates the reaction of the visitor. Allowing for direct reaction to subject , it’s components , color and even the prevailing though process. A day among all these days.
Ebrahim Eskandari

It is stupendous to speak of complications that are intent on self destruction. While my creations have not overstepped the boundaries of emanation, albeit in praise of seclusion; this discourse resembles the clod that the followers of Hallaj throw at him which were far graver than the others’ because one can not learn except in the manner advocated by Hallaj.
Hamid Hemaytian

It seems that every 30 years we destroy memories. With each photo burnt or Deleted we allow a tiny pixel to be lost from the greater image which is our Collective memory, that’s when reality can be re-arranged to suit the editor of the day. AKSbazi.com started working in April 2009 with an express hope to provide a forum for ordinary Iranians to recreate their own image, away from the prevalent clichés and exotic short-hands used by various acting editors. In a series of games our members show Iranian spaces and moods familiar to us all, but not ordinarily available to the outsider. Although it started life as a personal digital installation, AKSbazi.com has now become an invaluable archive of moments of life in Iran through the lens of it’s ordinary citizens. It is now a collective effort creating a platform for ‘citizen documentation’; a vault to safe-keep pixels that must not be lost again.
Haleh Anvari, founder of AKSbazi.com

Selecting Committee: Kaveh Kazemi, Shohreh Mehran, Mehran Mohajer, Neda Razavipour, and Ramin Sedighi

Selected Players for this exhibition: Sara Abri, Sasan Abri, Hediyeh Ahmadi, Mehdi Alizadeh, Ehsan Amani, Banafsheh Amin, Hoda Amin, Arash Amir Azodi, Farhad Bahram, Siavash Bakhtiarnia, Ramin Beyraghdar, Shaghayeh Cyrous, Shirin Eghtesadi, Hamed Farhangi, Dana Farzanehpour, Ershad Fattahian, Sara Ghanbari, Sepanta Ghassemkhani, Ceemin Golshan, Hoofar Haghighi, Hana Hanayi, Mehdi Hassani, Samira Hatamizadeh, Mokhtar Hosseinzadeh, Amir Jadidi, Mostafa Jafari, Poolad Javaher Haghighi, Sohrab Kashani, Fardid Khadem, Mahsa Khalilpour, Bahman Kiarostami, Abbas Kowsari, Majid Lashkari, Niloofar Lohrasbi, Ehsan Mansoori, Babak Mehrabani, Nazanin Mirzabeigi, Nima Moghimi, Behnam Moharrek, Ali Akbar Mohamadkhani, Amir Mousavi, Afrooz Nabavi, Pendar Nabipour, Siavash Naghshbandi, Mohammad Nickdel, Majid Niketeghad, Omid Omidvari, Aliyar Rasti, Hamideh Razavi, Bita Reyhani, Sara Reyhani, Sara Salahi, Hessam Samavatian, Amir Arad Sanaei, Delbar Shahbaz, Behnaz Shamshiri, Hesam Tahamtan, Mahsa Tahamtan, Mohammad Mehdi Zaboli, Sara Zandevakili

Solo show by Ghazal Khatibi

The visual world of Ghazal Khatibi is filled with games and humor which is rooted in the seriousness and prejudice of the real world. “Mad World” is the first phrase that can describe her visual world and its interaction with her surrounding .Her unique mentality takes shape in the bosom of the real world. She reacts to incidents and phenomenon in a coquettish and witty way and translates them to satire and as a result the stagnation of the real world is replaced with fluidity and dynamism. Her work can not be surveyed within the limited and classic descriptions of painting. Because the seriousness and self glorification of academic painting is absent. What is important in her work is the humorous and simple and smooth narrations which is a product of her fluid mind and Improvisation .Her approach opens the path that draws inspiration from the glory of Expressionism but ends at promiscuous and smutty drawings that are not intended to excite the audience but are portrayal of absurdity of the reality that she faces.. Khatibi depicts the controversial social subjects with innocence and compassion. Her simple figures, with flat and glittery colors, show the transient and unseemly conditions and circumstances of certain types. As if the Artist by recording these moods is depicting these “ Humanesques “ and ridicules them . Her works are imagery of a world in which illusion surrounds reality and not vice versa. To properly observe and appreciate her world we should leave out the preconceived notions and rigid rules and float our imagination.
Excerpts from catalog by Behrang Samadzadeghan

Solo show by Jinoos Taghizadeh

They are young, energetic and modest artists and endeavoring to reach the height of their abilities through their curious eyes and sensitive conscious, paying attention to their surroundings away from all the hoopla. This is a familiar spirit for me. It reminds me of some of my friends and acquaintances of many years; my artist friends who “incidentally’ happen to be mostly female. I am not sure but maybe this has to do with lack of ambition in many of us; we are not looking to win the Marathon; it’s not so important for us to be The First… it’s as if our goals are not important to us. What goals? The” Journey “is the destination! It’s along this path that human experience takes shape and it’s called “life”… The goal, might be walking besides each other; as simple as that.
Jinoos Taghizadeh

Solo show by Nahid Tavakoli

This Damn Twenty-Four Hours isn’t the technique a complex of rules related to comprehension of morphology of objective functions and nature of a medium? I have not made photographs nor painted and certainly have not created images. These series that is titled “Blood Over Sword”, away from the attractions of the effects of everyday, is a reaction to listening and observing and of course parallel to the ordinary life of a non-demanding person in a vague Geography. These are related to the “everyday” in the sense that I have recreated whatever I have seen and heard through the public media, or have realized in my lived experiences – visual or not – and without insisting on sophistication or aesthetics. Whether the results fit within a certain medium does not affect the final outcome. I fear that “hearing through an intermediate“ is what you will see or what you will not hear, meanwhile the ever flowing repulsiveness, at speed of twenty four frames in a second, is made available through thousands of Medias.
Nahid Tavakoli

Solo show by Ali Akbar Sadeghi

The spectacular style and flamboyant use of color in paintings and sculptures of Ali Akbar Sadeghi behold the richness of iconography in Qajar Era paintings, particularly a school of painting that has become known as the Qahveh Khaneh (Coffee house paintings). The meticulous detailing, intricate scenes and the subject matter, often heroes in full armor, follow the traditions of Miniature painting. At close inspection a large number of artists’ works are in one way or another self portraits. The story teller, the sleep walker, seems not to be able to invent without identifying with the characters of his imagination. Here is a marvelous world where the heroes of artist do not appear to be fighting the evils of the world, they are either frozen in time or seem to be engaged in their own internal conflict. From the “Hanged Coat” to the depiction of the old hero with a aid band on his face to the “Torture Armchair”, there is a strong sense of defeat but evil doesn’t seem to have prevailed. It appears as if the artist is content with wisdom that age and years of turmoil has brought him. The Emotional power of these self portraits and their poetic reality overwhelms the viewer and invokes feelings of sympathy that derives from conflict within every human being. The surreal world of Ali Akbar Sadeghi is governed by the strength of dreams, a world of his own. He successfully transfers his emotions and turmoil’s but also creates scenes and objects that are complete and precise. A perfect balance. And when he is not busy pushing nails in to the faces of his heroes he is ready to play chess. The game of nobility, that commands tact, maturity and dignity.

Solo show by Hadi Alijani

The paintings of Hadi Alijani not only depict his memoirs, but also they point to the fact that they often re-create the face of a painter. Although satire and tomfoolery have an important place in his works, still they are a type of throbbing paintings with fictional characteristics. While expressing thoughts and circumstances that he deems necessary, Alijani distorts the nature of what is observed. In the works of Alijani human beings are the measure and scale of everything and this belief leads to the formation of the concept of individuality and personal attitudes. Therefore, his paintings are used as tools to stress the uniqueness of the artists’ individuality. There is no such thing as graciousness and masterful humility in his works and the nude faces of shapes , suddenly jump out of his paintings through complex, complicated and injured turbulence. They stare at the viewer right in the face, mesmerizing them.
Raoof Dashti

Rostam the National Hero of Persia, closely resembles the notion of Hollywood’s Superheroes. He had a costume, a Hood, as super fantastic horse, a gallery of Archenemies, Magical connections and godlike friends, unprecedented powers and strong tendency to combat threats against Humanity. Rostam was immortalized by the famous 10th Century AD poet Ferdowsi, in the Shahnameh (Book of Kings). A legacy which has remained alive and vigorous, cherished by Iranians for centuries. The epic of Shahnameh depicts a fantastical world a fairyland where the first man who was an Iranian king rules and the prowess of various early heroes magnifies the Persian legacy. Persian myths are of ancient origin, involving fantastical figures and supernatural powers. All referring to the legendary past of Iran, mirroring the attitudes of society towards confrontation of Good and Evil; The Ancient conflict. A hero is supposed to spring to life in the face of danger and adversity and to display courage and the will for self sacrifice. By inventing legends and mythical heroes, humans have given their lives a larger setting. Solace to combat the fear of death and extinction; A great silence. Myth very much like art, is about the unknown; it is about that for which we initially have no words no immediate presence or objective existence. Another plane that exits alongside our own world. Myths invoke the sublime moments when we seem to be transported beyond our ordinary concerns. The experience of transcendence. We seek out moments of ecstasy, when we feel deeply touched within and lifted momentarily beyond ourselves. Like a novel, a movie or a painting, myth is make believe, it’s a game that transfigures our fragmented wretched world. The Persian artists for centuries have used mythology and poetry, to depict a wondrous world, loyal to ideals of beauty, truth and perfection. A world where they have found the redeeming answer to brutality chaos and frustration that has been a part of daily life for centuries. Artists have created sanctuaries, providing consolation, delight and revelation for their audiences. They have preserved Persian legacy, enriched our lives and inspired us as a Nation to become better than we are. A significant portion of Iran’s contemporary art works have a rhythmic beat of pain and anxiety; the anxiety and obsessions of a young generation, initially grown up in a childhood with the revolutionary violence, and the worry and fears of the war years, and ultimately matured in an environment of scarcity, impositions, limitations, apprehensions and concerns. Despite all they dare and speak the truth to the existing powers. Working within the boundaries of state and self censorship; Screaming in an oblique language. Much like Epic Heroes they venture from the world of common day in to the unknown, facing adversaries that try to defeat them in their journey. They illustrate traits, perform deeds and exemplify certain morals, always perfecting the art of resistance. Let us hope that the Decisive Victory shall be theirs.
Nazila Noebashari, Aaran Gallery
Solo show by Kazem Heydari

Kazem Heydari splits his paintings into two diverse artistic impulses, and strikes a balance between tableaus of human drama and explorations into color and mood. He transforms real-world settings into panes of primary and secondary/tertiary colors, while also stripping the paintings’ main subjects of all color. This two-fold manipulation increases the painting’s “snapshot” effect: the subjects are frozen in time and suspended within abstract blocks of color, or perhaps they are rifts in the composition itself. These rudimentary figures are not blank slates, however, but a means by which Kazem engages in a radically modern aesthetic: he presents us with subjects that are both present and absent.
Stephen Bracco

Solo show by Behrang Samadzadegan

Good stories for good children, simultaneously depicts hope, regret, optimism and despair. The world around me is filled with a mixture of these feelings; gloom hidden behind a decorated curtain and smiles that become an image for propaganda and suggest joy and light. And when the gloom reappears from behind the curtain and shows itself beyond the Janus face of our society, we escape to humor and coquetry to make reality endurable. So we alter the reality to make it tolerable. Reality changes color in our hands. We listen to good stories to go to sleep like good children and close our eyes to the realities of the world. Good exotic stories create a veil between us and the reality. Soon, the reality itself becomes a colorful fantastic story (and I am tired of speaking in metaphors…). And we forget the bitterness of the reality because it is sugar coated; it’s because we are exhausted and disillusioned. Ivan Klima once said: “I wish I could be a postman. People expect postmen anxiously because most of them, unreasonably, are waiting for good news not bad ones”. I also expect the same!
Behrang Samadzadegan

Solo show by Barbad Golshiri

In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot understand. A long poem about a man who in another circular cell is writing a poem about a man who in another cell… The process never ends and no one will be able to read what the prisoners write.
Jorge Luis Borges. “A Dream”, The New Yorker.

Solo show by Newsha Tavakolian

Imagine a dream, Eyes closed, mouths open, as if in a dream. Standing facing us with their backs to the darkness, they sing, soundless. They have been standing here, singing for themselves for a long time, imagining us, hearing. Standing; facing days of tedium, facing a world that has adorned them with a false crown. Standing, waiting.
Abbas Kowsari

Solo show by Mohsen Sadeghian

The Monochrome boxes of Mohsen Sadeghani are miniatures of place and space, in which symbols and objects are visible, like a mesh of similes that from a discursive view that is expressive and resonant. The audience in viewing the boxes sees the reflective focal point of the lights as well as one’s own image. From one perspective, this design makes the discernment of the works’ components difficult and delayed, and from another, it is reminiscent of the theory of the French psychologist, Jacque Lacant, regarding a child’s initial identification of one’s own image in a mirror. Immersion of the state of the viewer in the works, due to the reflections, is an expression of sense of non-distance between the viewer and the events. The identification of fragile, wounded and deformed. It’s in the works, takes shape with the help of surfaces, images and painted and opaque glasses. Such a process forms a suspended situation, inviting the audience to struggle more for the understanding of the themes and discourses. General structures of Sadeghian’s boxes have been designed and made in such a way that they invite the viewers to a subjective experience, one that is indicative of a connection to old customs and rituals.
Nosratollah Moslemian

Solo show by Ali Chitsaz

Ali Chitsaz is a funny man. Our first reaction to his work is to laugh, which is all right. Sometimes he is satisfied with a cheap smile but often manages to escape from falling into the realm of caricature. His previous works depicted battlefields and hunting grounds; full of amputated hands and heads and galloping riders. We got there late and never understood why the heck the crowd were at each others’ throats. Or what the hell the story was about – As if we had found a few pages torn from a comic book. In his battle scenes often some peculiar person has paused for a moment and is gazing at us like a goat; As if we are caught witnessing a massacre we were never meant to see. In his recent work, the weather has improved; spears have turned into carrots and daggers into turnips. Recently the master is a little more tender-hearted. On his canvases he is showing us a few dreams and memories or an excerpt from a book or a newspaper. This time instead of The battle of Mamasani, we end up on the side of swimming pools, football-fields, roses and robins. A street goes through the football field and the goal is a swimming pool. He draws a cigarette on the canvas. Or packs of cigarettes, in the size of buildings. A friend is arrested through the lens of a webcam and instead of giving the rifle to the “Statue of Stupidity”, he gives a bowl of stew to the lady with a blue scarf. He puts the half Qajar half Ottoman sultan bare feet on a motorbike, he hands him a Picasso for the steering, then he tells him to do a wheelie. In his new work Chitsaz has announced a ceasefire. Before he wages a new war and burns the bull alive, we better have a dip in the water and plant some vegetables in our garden.
Shervin Shahamipour

Solo show by Behdad Lahooti

Three-dimensional space is a geometric model of the physical universe in which we live. The understanding of three-dimensional space is learned unconsciously during infancy and is closely related to hand- eye coordination. The visual ability to recognize the world in three dimensions is a visual perception where we gather and interpret information and our surrounding, always using the visible light that reaches our eyes. In other words our perception is our vision. To the three dimensional space we also subconsciously bring in a fourth dimension; emotions, fragrances , sounds. Therefore when we process a vision it’s no more 3 dimensional, what we see includes the 4th dimension. Humans have always brought in a piece of nature to their living quarters, in forms of gardens or just simple vases of flower. When I chose a seed of a plant, that I don’t even know it’s name, as a sculptor I am attracted to it as a bulk, a 3 dimensional form that I find wonderful and perfect. My subconscious constitutes the 4th dimension: the memories of a magical day spent in a forest, the fragrances that I am reminded of, the play of light and shadow and how grand the universe is.

Group painting exhibition by young painters of Iran

Curated by Vahid Sharifian

A landscape is a place where artists can observe themselves from the outside; a place where they can illustrate their own selves by depicting what they discover externally; it is staring at a scenery , putting a face to an equilibrium or describing a search; it is formation of a puzzle; calming one’s self with a puzzle; finding one’s self in a puzzle; Through a poetic description; while staring at a vista, we forget about ourselves; we escape ourselves because we see all of our existence in another space for a while; our stresses and our serenity; this is different from sinking into deep thoughts; thinking is same as pondering; thoughts are generated within it; staring at a landscape the string of thoughts and the mind struggles that make up your inner self occupy you;this is the real you.

Artists: Ali Chitsaz, Mehdi Farhadian, Omid Hallaj, Mohamad Khalili, Milad Mokhtari, Ghasem Mohammadi, Maryam Naderi, Reza Panahi, Yasaman Safa, Hamid Yaraghchi, Shantia Zaker Ameli, and Amir Hossein Zanjani

Group exhibition of painting, drawing and video by female artists

Artists: Laleh Ardestani, Niloufar Abedi, Sara Abbassian, and Samira Nowparast

For the four artists whose works have been show cased in this collection, the concept of “Private Spaces” provides a medium to return to one’s roots. This reference that is full of metaphors, in dissecting an invisible cocoon, and transcending from external layers into the most internal elements while resembling the passage from a public and forbidden area to an internal and allowed spectrum, has become part of the theme. Niloufar Abedi, in a mixture of confrontation and contradiction sits her figurines on a canvas of shadows and blue and green colors inspired by nature, resembling a heavenly safe place. At times a fear of constant threats, sometime in folic form and sometimes in a caravan of geometric figures with metallic colors bases is constantly occupying the atmosphere of the canvas. Although geometric volumes, with angles and evident perimeter lines, are a reminder of a place to live and rest but with the constant gravitation towards taking refuge in their shadows, one continually feels terrified of fractures and destruction of figures from within. Samira Nowparast illustrates this familiar fear and agitation with her jagged creatures that appear on the surface of the canvas in an atmosphere wrapped in a white haze. And sometimes by extending the jaggedness of the creatures along the length of the art work, she stresses confrontation and face off between internal private spaces and the external ones with fragile and transparent borders. Round, continuous, fluid and dark volumes stick out of the geometric frameworks of the work so that compositions can transcend over borders and limitations and either be consumed by the onslaught of jaggedness or to devour and dissolve them inside themselves. Laleh Ardestani, following a period of expressive show casing of humanly bodies full of emotion, has now taken up a more abstract view. Although one can still see faded shadows of human body mixed in an entangled mass of centric compositions, but in the implementations of her ideal private spaces, this time she chooses a more vague language. A hidden volume of flesh, veins and fat, behind an anatomical curtain, and on the sidelines of re-exposure, is just like cutting through the cocoon of individual isolationism which of course invites the viewer to touch and join humans without pleading with them. Sara Abbasian. If threats and fear in the works of these three artists has an abstract side to it, and the language used is not so direct, in contrast Sara Abbasian’s dynamism produces a clear and truly agitating manifestation. She uses her previously displayed designs as the base so that in a brief animation she can make some sharks move which undoubtedly causes an eternal terror and fear for every viewer. Here, the threat is bare naked and fear, even with the voices that accompany the pictures, infiltrate into the souls of the artist and the viewers.
Hamid Reza Karami

Artists: Mazdak Ayari, Majid Bakhtiari Vafa, Jassem Ghazbanpour, Kaveh Golestan, Peyman Hooshmandzadeh, Bahman Jalali, Rana Javadi, Aidin Rahimipour Azad, Tahmineh Monzavi, Mehdi Vosoghnia, and Mohsen Yazdipour

Black and White images are becoming rare. They are mostly printed in newspapers and books, usually chosen for economic reasons or used as mere visual effect. All around the world most of the events of the 1960s and 1970s, both political and personal quests, were associated with black and white photography. Back in 1970s ,in true Iranian fashion, Journalistic neutrality with shrewdly observed cultural insights and reporting , was combined with lyrical and poetical story telling.During the Revolution and in the eight years of war, breathtaking events encouraged Iranian photographers to continue on the same path. For many of us those images of the Iraq-Iran war shot by Kaveh Golestan or Bahman Jalali continue to linger on and haunt the memory. The border line between documentary photography and its ethics of pure photography, and a series or one image out of a series becoming a piece of art photography, is extremely delicate and only a handful can work within the genre’s restrictions to achieve it. In his selection, Arash Hanaei salutes the works of photographers who have worked tirelessly and often without least expectation of fame and fortune. In the meantime his sharp eye has picked up images that go far beyond mere documentation, entirely through ingenious and unique works of these photographers;by including two very young photographers in the exhibition, the curator is hinting at the continuity of a well-traveled path in Iran’s contemporary documentary photography.

Solo show by Amitis Motevalli

Two California artists have taken their art straight to the center of the discussion when they exhibit together this month in Tehran, Iran, where political tensions daily escalate between the United States and Iran, and misperceptions between Western and Muslim peoples may be at an all time high. Both artists are known for their social commentary and interest in social justice issues. Clayton Campbell is the Artistic Director of 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA, and the former President of Res Artis. Amitis Motevalli was an 18th Street Artist Fellow in 2008, and will be exhibiting at 18th Street in January, 2011. Clayton Campbell will exhibit two photographic installations, including his seminal work, “Words My Son has Learned Since 9-11”. Begun in 2004 and continually being added to, Campbell’s cross cultural project researches how people view themselves in a post 9-11 reality through learned language. His second work, a series of large digital images entitled “After Abu Ghraib”, examines our collective issues of human rights, abuse by torture, and personal responsibility by re-contextualizing the notorious photos of US soldiers torturing Iraqi civilians at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.” Amitis Motevalli, New series titled “Here/There, Then/Now”, are 7 hand embroidered large cloth flags. These flags are inspired by the traditional flags used in Shia rituals dating back to the Islamic battle of Karbala. In ritualistic use, the flags have excerpts from the Holy Quran and images from struggle of Karbala. The aesthetic of these flags are also used in grass roots advertisements. Motevalli’s second work, “Fascia”, is made of white and mirror sequined spandex bikini bottoms stretched across the roof of a small gallery to create a dome shape. The stretched out spandex alters the architecture of the room and creates a sense of physical presences without actual the presence of any figures. The third pieces on show are from series “In Re Aiming The Canon” where artist Focuses on reversing powers that “Create” history and the reclaiming of the future. In seven paintings images are taken from News media which was largely omitted from headlines to maintain a dominant political climate. The paintings create a scenario of militant resistance. The locations are unknown, the specific struggle unclear.

Solo show by Reza Bangiz

I am a Greek artist and a foreigner to Iran. Not truly European since Greece is surely something of its own but not eastern either. I stayed in Iran for several months and in 2008 organized an exhibition in Athens with 19 artists that live and work in Tehran called Lion under the rainbow. That’s how I came to know of Reza Bangiz unique paintings. Actually not exactly paintings since he has developed though the years his own technique a mixture of linocut and painting. Mr. Bangiz is one of the rarest and striking examples of resistance and political consciousness that goes beyond easy accusations that please the western mind, but is subtle and requires great sacrifices. What I see in his work is a defiance of color and luscious extravagant themes, the negation of decorative bright patterns that one sees almost in all popular painting from Tehran. Maybe only Mr. Bangiz was brave enough to sacrifice his popularity, that comes with bright colors in Tehran it seems, to sacrifice his early commercial success in order to be true to his beliefs. When in Tehran I saw many younger artists who are angry and supposedly revolt, but at the same time many of these angry artists are primarily anxious for recognition from the heads of the western art world, and they advertise the destruction and pain of their own country in order to become popular. They can almost measure how much money, fame and acceptance from the west each complain and each new “political” work will offer them. In Mr. Bangiz works on the other hand one sees a true revolution and a true passion for truth. It’s a passion that negates itself, that reveals itself hidden, that appears at times as devoid of wisdom, as children’s sketches. Following what I understand to be a Sufi tradition Mr. Bangiz’s simple and pure forms reveal sensitivity deeply rooted in morality only that this wisdom that his works communicate may also appear to be empty of all meaning. One sometimes wonders if one is looking at a masterpiece or a children’s sketch. The works appear full of all that is true and empty of all meaning at the same time. The balance of the composition and the refined manner of the lines, the subtle painted part of the linocuts with the precise and telling titles offer one of the finest examples of Iranian painting, setting Mr. Bangiz in the place of a true master and a brave fighter for truth and beauty.
Alexandros Georgiou

Alexandros Georgiou, is a Greek artist and curator of the exhibition “Lion Under The Sun” exhibited during Art-Athina in Athens in 2008.

Solo show by Arash Hanaei

In his latest collection, Hanaei stands up to the art scene and refuses to follow its conventional mandates. He brings his “for-keeps” and his “not-for-keeps” to the gallery as building blocks of a “lived experience”. He hides that which he rejects underneath a layer of white paint. His collection raises eyebrows, “What are these?” the audience will ask. He photographs what he sees the way they appear to him but without the slightest intention to de-light and en-light. He doesn’t concern himself with the criteria of professional photography — composition, lighting, etc. He only insists on one thing: for everything to be the way it appears to him, neither beautiful nor ugly. In this exhibit, the artist does away with “the artistic undertaking” as if it was an obstacle standing between him and his audience. He invites the viewer to behold life in its doldrums. With this collection, he enters a domain that the artist has been barred from.
Behrang Samadzadegan

Solo show by Peyman Houshmandzadeh

This exhibition is the latest works of Peyman Hooshmandzadeh, a set of projects; “Time”, “Bank Notes”, “Trampled” and “Knives” , all have a common trait of documentary but in a new mould. The elements that are common in this series are objects that are either on our person during the day or close by; bank notes in our pockets, clocks that decorate the offices, bits and pieces that are crumpled every day and knives that are to be found on certain people. The earlier projects of the artist; “Tea House Regulars”, “Shooka Café”, “The Lads in Customs” and “Zourkhaneh” were documentaries with inclination to cast certain types. The presence of Humans particularly the men in a Patriarchal Society that we live in, is extremely visible. But the present exhibition emphasizes on objects; objects that are thought provoking and at the same time trivial, we are called on to open our eyes and ears and to concentrate on details. What becomes quite fascinating is that the previous series, the “Paradoxical Life” is now the connecting link; humans that were put behind window shields of cars with decorations that reflect our society as a cabinet of curiosities. The common thread that can be found in the artists’ body of work, is the common man’s Culture (The Folklore). A culture that by it’s nature is mixed with Kitsch art (The collection of Time) and also describes the mundane everyday (The Bank Notes). What happens in back alleyways of Tehran, from Café Shooka to the Customs House, the contents of our pockets, prints on shirts, the belts, the mustaches, all make up and form sub cultures that are full of contradictions but utterly Iranian.
Arash Fayez

Solo show by Mehran Saber

Paintings of Mehran Saber appear to be reactions to a world apparently without meaning, humans control, or even menaced by an invisible outside force. Characters caught in hopeless situations are forced to do repetitive and meaningless actions. In his works, reality is dismissed and even Surrealism is distorted. The dream-like qualities of the paintings makes you wonder if the painter has worked while in trance, whether he has sleep-walked through creation. Hybrid creatures, often twisted and tortured, remind us of the old wounds, and of the bits and pieces of nightmares. The fabulous color palette is wild and exuberant, shocking the viewers at first glance and then challenging them into submission to observe the beauty and harmony of colors, while proving to them that the paintings are truly marvelous as well as wonderfully beautiful.

Artists: Sara Abbasian, Maryam Amini, Fereyon Ave, Amirali Bashiri, Ala Dehghan, Parastou Forouhar, Barbad Golshiri, Arash Hanaei, Sahand Hesamian, Alireza Jodey, Abbas Kowsari, Farsad Labbauf, Behdad Lahooti, Fatemeh Mirfakhraie, Amir Mobed, Amitis Motevalli, Arash Sedaghatkish, Hadi Tabatabaie, Jinoos Taghizadeh in collaboration with Zahra Nabavi, and Newsha Tavakolian
Show by Ghazal Khatibi and Morteza Zahedi

The joyful and unconventional works of both artists easily shift between two and three dimensions. Toys change shape and function when they are used as tools of expression. The wonderful and creative use of paper by both of them is a defiance of formal clichés, creating witty, fantastic and unique pieces. Tranquility and turmoil are the other side of the coin. Perceptive subjects such as political issues, life in general, memories of the childhood from 1980s, propaganda, technology are dispersedly challenged, and sometimes visually narrated in new and daring ways. The duo show of the two young artists is a fresh breeze of air and a reminder that Art is fun and above all Humane!

Solo show by Fereydon Ave

For centuries the illustrious and mythological stories of the legendary Persian Hero “Rostam” have passed down through generations of Iranians. The poetry of Shah Nameh (also known as the book of kings) written approximately a thousand years ago, by Abul Qasim Ferdowsi (celebrated and hailed as the Homer of Iran) is recited by millions of Iranians. In this century the echoes of this oral tradition are transferred into numerous works of art by the Iranian contemporary artists. In his most political work to date, Fereydon Ave, uses the images of a wrestler wondering among creatures of darkness in the dead of winter. The series is about dying and resurrection and the Chivalry that is dying in the land of Rostam. But the long history of the land has taught us; That the winter will not last long, and the support, aspirations and cheers of millions of Iranians will eventually drive our “Hero” back into the limelight and yet into another bright spring.

Solo show by Amir Mousavi

Playing with the forms that exist in nature without the slightest change in them, repeating the firm elements next to the variable ones and finding different points of concentration. To delete and to reach the simplest lines and surfaces in nature, this is my outlook and how I register what I find beautiful. I search for beauty in the mixture of the impressions and plays of shadow and light on the walls.
Amir Mousavi

Solo show by Mohsen Sadeghian

Today, after many quiet years, Mohsen Sadeghian appears again. Life’s adversities and the plays of the years have not thrown him off his course, and he is still focusing on the “Wooden Spaces” to portray his present. Now we encounter the back of the glass. The space is still the wooden environment resembling a large box. However, entering the boxes is not direct anymore. A glass obstructs your direct entrance. What is more observable is the explicit internal architecture of the boxes. In his older works, he easily and directly granted access to his sanctuary’s close proximity, however it is not that way anymore. The topography of his pictorial codes is only possible with the aid of the earlier works’ tangible evidence. The presence of numerous layers today makes our passage difficult, and his perpetual concealments prevent us from determinate understanding of the forms and events. It seems to me that in encountering his recent works, I have two interpretations: First, the contents and internal components have found an organic connection with the external frameworks, and he is portraying a unity. Second, the frames have not exited their situational environment and are still protecting the meanings. In both interpretations, his arrangements as well as his compositions of materials and elements are admirable. The preservation of time, particularly the preservation of grand dusty time, is an indirect impressive reference becoming meaningful for me today. The regulated internal divisions portray his explicit judgments about static stories. Preservation of beliefs, perseverance of internal lines of passage over the years from one angle, and experimentation with the non-traditional ways of imagining from another, have created a genuine personal language in a corner of Iranian Contemporary Arts.

Solo show by by Ali Reza Jodai

The nightmarish images of Ali Reza Jodai, perhaps act as a magnifier of the events of the past few months in Iran. “Shock & Awe” can overwhelm the viewer. The preoccupation of the artist with society and events is vivid and the rich lines are evidence of a keen awareness of the historical tradition of Persian Painting. The refined paintings of Ali Reza Jodai are perhaps a Hall of Mirror, A peep show, A circus, the limbo dance of characters in the theater of life.

Solo show by Kourosh Ghazimorad

What we can perhaps call the “Modernist” movement in Calligraphy started some 40 years ago as part of the aesthetic evolution in Iran. The Technical skills perfected during centuries of practice by great calligraphers, were combined with modernist expressive notions to create surprisingly harmonious results. Since then the Iranian calligraphers have pushed the traditional limitations of paper and material (ink & tools) and have successfully produced art works using materials as diverse as Tar, Gold leaves, Bleach, and so on. The fluid and Spontaneous shapes created by Kourosh Ghazimorad are yet another wonderful example of this marriage of old and new. The wonderful dance of letters that are minimized to forms, the abstract calligraphy if you like. His work experience as a graphic artist allows for more freedom and movement and vivid colors. At the same time the strength of lines betray years of training as a traditional calligraphist.

Solo show by Behrang Samadzadegan

The images used in Media and advertisements are often edited to obscure reality and to cover up the surroundings and circumstances. As if the world around us is fitted in to a frame, where by we are supposed to believe that this is all that there is and “Everything is Just Fine”. By putting these images next to each other and using the mind frame of the producers, I have attempted to refer the viewer to observe “All” of the reality. Allowing the observer to judge and form their own interpretation away from the pre-conceived notions. The direct and indirect presence of women in these series is an example of how we can look at the reality. Women who have refused to sit in the back rooms and have pushed the boundaries of the society have appeared in all sorts of places and taken up tasks that have traditionally been the domain of the male population. They have insisted on truth and by persistence have changed the way media had ignored them and now in fact have turned the media focus on their activities. In a way I attempt to remedy the situation by demonstrating that the images we are fed are not reflections of reality, but are manipulations that finally fail to convince the viewer. In other words I have applied the same technique or recipe to question these practices and to draw attention to hidden codes and dialogues that are the underlying reason for this wide mis-representations of truth. I have tried to find a way out of these “virtual borders” and to insist on “All” of the reality.
Behrang Samadzadegan

Solo show by Behdad Lahoti

Shahanshah was the title of Iranian kings, meaning the King of Kings. Cuneiform Script is one of the earliest known forms of written expression, emerging in Mesopotamia around the 30th century BC. Cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs , an ideogram that conveys its meaning through its pictorial resemblance to a physical object. Behdad Lahoti insists that the works are neither determinative nor symbolic. His work is not representational or instructive. They are simply echoes of the past in to present time. All the same it’s ironical that after 5 millennium Behdad Lahoti uses a physical object to carve his own “ideograms” on. Read them as you like!

Artists: Maryam Amini, Hell Berent, Fariba Farghadani, Shantia Zakerameli, and Masoud Mousavizade.

In 2004 China celebrated the production of the first porcelain piece about a 1000 years ago. In 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 it’s long standing tradition of ceramic and architecture. A group of Iranian Artists where chosen by Hella Berent, herself a visual artist and a participants of previous projects at ekwc, to participate in a 3 months residency program in Netherlands. The wonderful pieces that were created during this program are now in display at Aaran Gallery.

Curated by Arash Fayez

The word “Appropriation” in photography refers to acquiring and taking exclusive possession, and then through the artistic intervention, adapting the concept, structure, form and content of an art work to one’s own. Through this type of adaptation, the delicate distance between imitation and inspiration can be discerned. In fact, “Appropriation Photography” is the re-birth of an art-work. What is ultimately created is inevitably an art that (directly or allegorically) refers one to another art; be it literature, painting, self-portrait, or others. The present collection belongs to some young photographers who consciously, and without anguish, have borrowed and extracted from the works of others. Ultimately what seems attractive, is the attention of the new generation of Iranian photographers to a recent and contemporary subject of “Appropriation Photography” and that how in the footsteps of the great artists, if they have not portrayed more attractive works, they are nonetheless no less than the originals.
Arash Fayez

Video and installation exhibition by Filter Group
Many Iranians sculptors are still experimenting with the expansion of the forms into space, paving the way for further serious artistic achievements. Many others search for traditional motifs, or for familiar patterns of Persian calligraphy, architecture or design, linking to the past artistic heritage. Some others have surpassed the formal concerns, expressing socio-political statements or displaying levels of self-disclosure, especially by incorporating their typically used everyday objects. A number of the sculptors have used text and language as a means of artistic expression, and yet others have gone further into interpretable combinations of text and objects.
Solo show by Siamak Filizadeh

Thus spoke the sheep: “Oh, the King of fairies, we wish that you see us when we are captives in the hands of these beings. The lambs and the children are separated from mothers, and their mothers’ milk is wrested for human beings’ own children. Our children are tied up, are slaughtered, and skinned. They scream, in hunger and in thirst, and no-one comes to their rescue. And then, their heads are chopped, their stomachs cut, and they are skinned. Their heads and organs, their hearts, livers and rumen are subjected to the butchers’ chopping knives. And finally, they are cooked in pots, or barbecued on fire, and then eaten. And we are still silent. Neither we cry nor do we complain. Even if we cry, these beings do not show mercy. Where is the supposed kindness and compassion of these beings?”
Ikhwan al-Safa – 961-986 AD Part of “Plea Signature Scroll by the animals against the cruelty of human beings to the “King of Fairies”

Solo show by Arash Hanaei

Arash Hanaei, was born in Tehran in 1978. He prefers to concentrate on documentary photography. His present series continues to simply “Document”, this time A “Capital”. He shows us our own city, albeit noise and pollution and congestion. Colors are eliminated. Except the pale green – grayish color that is associated with many of Islam Republic’s institutions and the red of Iranian Flag at Martyrs Tombs of Tehran. At first glance his work appears to be snap shots of Tehran, but at closer Look his sarcasm becomes apparent. Images of Shopping Malls & Bill Boards advertising Western commodities in opposition to the Revolutionary Murals of Tehran. The sense of isolation is deep. And one wonders whether he has tried to create his own city away from hustle and bustle of every day life? A “Capital” that we all like to love and hate at the same time.

Solo show by Mostafa Darebaghi

A Retrospect Animals, dots, cubes, are all set in a unique abstract world. The two dimensional forms drag our eyes and at any moment you expect to come across the three dimensional form. The steady rhythm and easiness of the paintings and the tranquility, are easily detected in each piece. At the same time the dynamism is an integral part of his paintings. He has pursued and succeeded in creating his own imagery without insisting on traditional motifs. A master in command of his own world, a complicated world that is made easy for the viewer to appreciate and feel. Colors are refined and despite their brightness are extremely gentle. The world of Darehbaghi is humane and kind. Perhaps if we listen we might hear the humming of birds and cock-a-doodle-doo.

Curated by Mario Iannelli

The exhibition “Far From Where We Came” brings together the energy and the skills of eleven artists of different generations, all based in Italy. Each artist develops an aspect of the subject through his original linguistic syntax and different media, including video, painting, sculpture, installation, ready-mades and performance. “Far From Where We Came” talks of a contemporary reciprocal gaze in which past and future join in an irreducible relationship. The following paradox has its roots in ancient traditions as well as the contemporary art scene. Ancient poetry, Greek tragedy, and Roman tradition gave us, to mention some examples, the figures of Orpheum, Gilgamesh and Janus, characters relating in certain aspects to artistic practice. The question we are able to answer today (no matter how far we have gone in terms of science and technology) is strategically connected with answering “where we have come from”. Gods and Demigods Double-headed Janus presided over all material and immaterial beginnings: from thresholds and arches to the beginning of the historical and mythical time and of every new enterprise, war or peace. Janus represented all forms of passage and change. Gilgamesh, two-thirds god and one-third human, sets out in a quest for immortality and, when heartbroken by the death of his friend Enkidu, continues his quest with nobility and courage in the territory of Utnapistim, called “the Far”. Orpheum, son of Apollo, endowed with intuitive knowledge of degeneration and regeneration cycle of the natural world, was placated, affected and persuaded with his chant, Charon, Cerberus and Kore, because of his love for Eurydice. Yet when he reached the end of Hades, doubting she was there, turned his back and saw her disappearing and lost her forever. We read in Gilgamesh, “Before you leave the desert lands Gilgamesh will know your arrival in his dreams.” Gilgamesh learnt about his odyssey and destiny through his dreams and wondered what that clear and distorted reality meant. Gilgamesh, like Orpheum and Janus, represents the prototype of an artist exploring the territories of the unconscious, a hero in search of an unattainable goal, the form, the horizon, something always more difficult to realize, an impossible journey to outer limits of the world. Going far, the supreme will of distancing oneself “from where we came” is the ethical principle of a hero stealing the fire from gods: it is the principle of individuality. Comprehending “where we came” pertains to a metaphysical dimension, a fixed and unchangeable ineffable reality one can only cognize but never live totally: you can only perceive the distance, the duration. The paradox is this: when we go “far” we distance ourselves “from where we came” and so the direction, the sense or distance is established by the second term. Getting far can lead to a blind alley, a labyrinth becoming more and more complicated. The aesthetic experience develops against the skills of going far and returning back again. Some decisive shifts can gather the sense of progressive change of time in space, as in thought and in imagination. “Far From Where We Came” is a paradox because the more we go “further” the more we understand that in fact we are approaching, in a way never equal to the former. The same case applies to aesthetic experience: we practice the cyclic and ritual contemplation of both aspects. Founding its proper cognitive analysis on experience and not an objectivity, aesthetics—as matter of interpretation of Beauty—actually supplies us with just one aspect, a splinter and not a totality. The aesthetic gaze looks into the distance, somewhere between the “far” and ‘from where we came’ to see its form. In creation, as in art, the void does not exist. The void itself is a form. The not-being is non-existent. The void, as total absence of form, does not exist. Aesthetic experience leads not to the void; the aesthetic experience is not empty. It is a ritual, a sort of contemplation, a cyclic return. The experience of going far and the experience of Beauty are transformed and introduced into our real conditions. Gilgamesh wanted to become god-like, but he was a man. Orpheum was obliged not to turn back. Janus received from Saturn the gift of being able to see both future and the past. The greatest form of going far is the dream; the perfect form is to forget; but if I forget, I fall in a different and bigger paradox. If I forget, thinking will no longer make any sense; it will not make any sense if I have really gone far. What would have happened if Gilgamesh had forgotten everything while going far? What chant is Orpheum playing? What are the faces of Janus seeing? In Vettor Pisani’s drawings—obsessively representing a human profile and an island— the form evolving on the horizon is the image of the infinite. “Miaosfinge”, a pyramid of three cans, plays upon quotations and the language similar to the ‘Rabbit and the Philosopher’s Stone’. Flavio De Marco’s “Landscapes” represent a fractal horizon, a unit in the structure of the gaze, able to reproduce all equal landscapes. Mario Sasso’s triptych turns over the gaze to the top to find a new space for imagination, disappearing and emerging again in the contamination of the urban space. Piero Mottola’s “Articolazioni cromatico-emozionali vicino-lontano” is produced by a neutral and minimal impulse looking for maximum stimulation of perceptive events in a visual structure. Matteo Peretti’s “Portraits” (“George”, “Barack”) and ‘Shopping’, an assemblage of plastic shoppers, evoke a second look, creating new skins on known surfaces. Daniele Jost’s ‘Babels’ evoke a shift in a different context, different from the original, close as well as remote, mythical and technologic. Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli’s “Paeasaggi Scheletrici” marks mental maps in the margin of objects re-emerging as abstract signs. Mastequoia’s “Strade antiche certe and idem p.” presents the documentation of an activity reconstructed by group during the exploration of an itinerary of an ancient Roman connecting road, bringing back drawings, documents, notes, photos, archeological and industrial finds. Navid Azimi’s installation of a “Five-Pointed Star” is a metaphor of intertwining of order and disorder, life and death. The two works on paper in the series “Rokh” and ‘Cypress with Skull and Apples’ manifest the most principal aspects of his figurative world. In Giulio Squillacciotti’s “farfromwherewecame” (digital film 8”) (which gave its title to the exhibition) a narration is built upon imaginary facts starting from those photos and cards which complete, at the same time, the original work. On the contrary, in Carlo Spano’s “Frazioni Dinamiche” (digital film 58”), passages of real life, without a logical sequence or a will to narrate (only accelerated or slowed down), reproduce the simulation of a cinematographic kind of quality of image and duration.

Artists: Vettor Pisani, Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli, Giulio Squillacciotti, Matteo Peretti, Piero Mottola, Flavio De Marco, Daniele Jost, Navid Azimi Sadjadi, and Mario Sasso

Solo show by Ala Dehghan

Almost all contemporary Iranian art is about frustration and finding an Oblique language to scream in. Ala Dehghan is no exception. Her work comes on small scaled paper with the tools that a child uses to express itself: Cayons – pastels – pencils And gauche. What seems like an arbitrary scattering of semi figurative shapes trying to escape from emptiness. They are puppets on string or butterflies pinned, slithering on to paper. The feeling of helpless entrapment is overwhelming, delicate but final. No way out, not even in to emptiness.
Fereydon Ave

Artists: Pegah Alagheband, Narges Banan, Amirali Bashiri, Majid Biglari, Neda Hadizadeh, Behzad Hatefinejad, Mehdi Hossein Eshlaghi, Reza Hossein Eshlaghi, Sam Jaber Ansari, Hooman Mehdizadeh, Saeed Mohammadzadeh Nodehi, Nasim Pirhadi, Mehran Saber, Ali Shafiabadi, and Zahra Nabavi
Curated by Neda Razavipoor and Vahid Sharifian

The exhibition “Iran on Paper: Last Ten Years” is the first in a series of traveling exhibitions from my large collection of works on paper by Iranian artists of all ages. Each “part” (exhibition) will be curated by different curators. My hope is that in time the whole of the collection will be exhibited and will be seen by a wide audience from many parts of the globe and the catalog collectively will make a worth – while statement and document of work on paper by Iranian artists all the way back to the 1960’s.
Fereydon Ave

Solo show by Arash Sedaghat Kish

In a historical context, the watercolorist was bound by conventions of scale, intensity of color or background. To question these traditional views of watercolour the artists chooses to paint on a large scale, without backgrounds, meantime utilising the same techniques employed in smaller watercolours. These watercolours depict Iranian students as they appear in everyday life, how they dress and present themselves. There are certain dress codes and laws in Iran that restrict what can be worn. In a county where everything has political or religious significance, dress becomes an emotive form of self expression that needs to be controlled.

The tyrant dies and his rule ends, the martyr dies and his rule begins.” — Soren Kierkegard
The battle of good versus the evil is an age old phenomenon. Every religion has some story or other to show us the ‘right’ path from the ‘wrong’ one. Hinduism celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura as Diwali. Christians remember the crucification of Jesus Christ as a supreme sacrifice in the way of God, and so do Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain, the grandson of the Prophet. There is of course the physical suffering in martyrdom, and all sorrow and suffering claim our sympathy, the purest, most out-flowing sympathy that we can give. But there is a greater suffering than physical suffering. That is when a valiant soul seems to stand against the world; when the noblest motives are reviled and mocked; when truth seems to suffer an eclipse. It may even seem that the martyr has but to say a word of compliance, do a little deed of non-resistance; and much sorrow and suffering would be saved; and the insidious whisper comes: “Truth after all should never die.” The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.”
Soren Kierkegard
And after Ahriman (The Primordial Devil) fell insensible, AhuraMazda began the creation of the Cosmos. From the boundless time, he created the bounded time, and so began the creation of other cosmic phenomena. In one year, and in six sessions, the six archetypes of the six main phenomena of creation were completed, which are the Sky, the Water, the Earth, the Greens, the Creatures, and the Primordial Man…. The archetype of the useful quadruped beasts is the Evadad or Evakdad Cow (The Godiva – God’ gift) which was created on the right shores of the VahDeity (Beh Deity or the Good Deity) river, in the land of Iran. Evadad Cow is as white and bright as The Moon, whose height reaches three nays (feet) AhuraMazda created the Evadad Cow also to assist the Greens and the Water.
Solo show by Siamak Filizadeh

Goethe has said “Blessed is the nation that does not need heroes”. Dictatorships are the most fertile fields for the creation of heroes and have devised the most compelling reasons for hero worship. Who do we put on a pedestal? Who reflects the very best of human nature? What do we do with a hero who has done something less heroic? Is a hero a hero twenty four hours a day? Is he a hero when he orders food at restaurants? Bible says “There are just men for life and there are also just men for an hour”! What about Greek Heroism which happens at battle grounds? Can heroes simply be those people who inspire us to become better than we are? Perhaps someone who dares to speak the truth to power ought to be modern day hero. A story is told of a righteous man who went to city of Sodom to preach against lies, thievery, and indifference. No one listened. When asked why he continues to preach, he said “I must keep speaking out. I thought I had to shout to change them. Now I know I must shout so that they can not change me.”
Text adapted from Hero’s Hero: The Concept of Heroes by Elie Wiesel, Nobel peace laureate

Solo show by Sasan Ghar E Dagloo

The magic of stories of 1001 nights are brought to life in wonderful compositions and opulent colors of Sasan Ghar E Dagloo. Layers upon layers of sensual lines and colors are echoes of Scheherazade’s stories , the life in Harems, the deeds of the nobles, the fantasies and the realities. The passions, the joys, and the agonies are all depicted, and subtly relayed to the viewers through the incredible choice of colors and magical shapes. Looking deeper, we find that the artist perceives the world in greater depths and breadths than we at first thought. Sasan Ghar E Dagloo, certainly belongs to the sophisticated group of painters, who carry on the mandate of great masters of the past centuries.

Solo show by Goli Khalatbary

Goli Khalatbary has been a professional photographer for more than 30 years. From photography, she has retained images that are molded into silver forms – silver, as it is believed to be a feminine element and is the light-sensitive component of any film. Reality has not been her quest. She insists on freedom to shape forms and catches the rays of light that illuminate her work. She chooses to call this exhibition, Three Years of Silence, but the richness of the collection shows that, despite all that has come to happen in the past 3 years, her vivid imagination has managed to shine through. Or maybe, as she says in her poetry: “and what you understand best cannot be said.”

Show by Azin Agha Rabiee and Maneli Aygani

For Francisco de Goya, fantasy and invention formed the very foundation of art. The fantastic art has existed as a genuine component of all art in every age and place. By developing their own form and content Azin Agha Rabiee and Maneli Aygani have created their own fantastic image of the world. Memories are revisited and dreams are interpreted. Proving Ronald Goetze’s statement that: “Nothing is so fantastically over whelming as the authentic, Nothing as incredible as real reality”.