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Rene Saheb

Group Exhibition

Opening on 4th March 2022
On view until 1st April 2022

Manijeh Armin- Tajsar Jafari- Marjan Hoshiar- Koosha Moossavi- Arezoo Shahdadi- Shahrzad Araghinejad- Mehdi Farhadian- Allahyar Najafi- Parsoua Mahtash- Mohammad Eskandari- Nastaran Safaei- Parisa Taghipour- Mahya Giv- Maryam Farshad- Sara Tavana- Rene Saheb- Manijeh And Parisa Hejazi- Salé Sharifi

A Flower Blossoms for its Own Joy.
Oscar wilde

We celebrate the arrival of the Iranian New Year and a New Century by showcasing works of artists whose practice is mostly influenced by nature. On this occasion, it is fitting to quote an 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 awaken with joy. 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; from 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; the jacinth imprisoned lies below the desert’s dusty floor. The stony wilderness is so bleak and bare, in ageless patience broods, aware of 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 fairyland comes real again.
In sudden collisions, find sweet embrace; in rhythms enchanting, with stately pace, 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 exhibition of Rene Saheb

Exhibition opening on 15th October 2021
On view until 29th October 2021

Moving between abstraction, figuration, and free forms, Rene Saheb’s dense and Multicolored paintings hint at her subconscious. A release, a journey through a prima valley, where her inner self is unfolded, and Knowledge is sought and found.
She works intuitively using expressive brush strokes and vibrant colors. These organic and nature-inspired paintings resemble botanical studies of a lush world with flowing fields of color punctuated by looping floral and biomorphic forms. They feel ancient in the sense that they look like the beginning of the natural world. She continues to use the language of metaphor. She brings in daily incidents or concerns, usually satirical Proverbs of our rich language find a place in the paintings.
Using different mediums, she inserts delicate lines in fields of color in these invented landscapes of her. A dreamy land where birds are set free and the flowers and Fiona grow and are allowed to reach their bloom. Her Raw geological formations and landscapes oscillate between harmony and tension, perhaps mystical but at the same time naturalistic.
The sculptural pieces, which are all made using broken utensils thrown away in a pottery class that the artist had attended, are the other part of this exhibition. Many of these pieces were discarded for a simple crack or minor fault. This is an act of recovery; to soothe the pain of abandonment. She brings these pieces of the earth back to life, back to the cycle of life. A resurrection inspired by The Conference of the Birds of Farid Oddin Attar Neishabouri, the story of birds that set out on the path of discovery, many of whom failed to reach their destination. And here are the ones that Failed.
A story of our land, of many lands, of a people who set out to capture their dreams and fail, and in this failure, another story takes shape, stories of pride despite failure, of gaining knowledge but perishing in the struggle. Stories can only be told by artists like Rene Saheb, who understand the earth and embrace many layers of life.
Nazila Noebashari

Curated by Mahoor Toosi

Farhad Ahrarnia- Shirin Mellatgohar – Allahyar Najafi – Aidin Bagheri — Maryam Farzadian- Sofia and Behzad Hatefi -Nastaran Safaei — Atefeh Khas – Amin Shojaei – Rene Saheb
Opening on 6th August 2021
On view until 20th August 2021

What is gathered in this exhibition are sub-narratives that are identified by the narrator as the point of reference and source of its validation. The memory of objects has changed so much that looking at their point of origin cannot be fully recognized; what seems obvious is questioned by the shifting of the point of view, and what is considered convincing is viewed with skepticism. These recycled works are born out of accidents and incidents and reborn through the act of recovery and by overcoming the turmoil. Facing the question of “Remember R,” these works are a reminder of: What should I remember? How do I remember? By clinging to the lost past and drowning in nostalgia? Or are we to be accused of not having a historical memory?
Mahoor Toosi

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…

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

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.

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.