Solo exhibition of Ebrahim Eskandari
Opening on 10th August 2018
Ebrahim Eskandari is preoccupied with the forgotten and vanishing city elements, such as double decker buses, the Peykan car, Post boxes, Telephone booths. He draws our attention to details that are often neglected, bringing abandoned objects and feelings and memories associated with them into the limelight. Everything changes in Iran, very often the past and history is disregarded, and then there are also the elements that are purposely removed to obliterate the past. This, again, is the Iranian life, simply cut short and discontinued.
Peykan car was produced under license in Iran for 38 years, beginning by 1967. In the first years, owning a Peykan was a sign of “having arrived”: a symbol of certain social status, and future prosperity. The Prime Minister of the time wished One Peykan for Every Iranian, it was part of the Iranian dream; our spending spree, the tipsiness that came with drinking too much easy petro dollars.
With the Revolution in 1978 Peykan lost its allure, the trendy “Youngster” series went out of production and the “Labor Peykan”, basic and sturdy, was the only option and people queued up and patiently waited for delivery of their Peykans. Few years after the war owning a Peykan was a sign of failure, of belonging to the masses of decent people who lost so much through the years of violence and war.
It is this coming down in the world that is the spice in the new work of Ebrahim Eskandari. A taxi driver who earns his living by driving his Peykan,- and true to form is constantly nagging about his life and the conditions (a national past time). A lion descends a double decker and asks for direction to “Mehrabad”- the old airport of Tehran- and without a pause the man who by now is used to the surreal in Iranian life, gives him the directions.
The regular irregularity of our lives, the pain of Iran, and its illusionary dimensions and at the same time the will to survive and even hope for future, are at the heart of this exhibition. Applying his considerable skill as a sculptor, Ebrahim Eskandari outlines the many changes in the Iranian way of life, a nation that needs to come to terms with the reality on the ground and stay away from illusions and slogans.