Ramblings of a Flaneur
Photo exhibition by Arash Fayez
Opening: Friday, May 27, 2011 – 4:00 to 8:00
28 May to 13 June Sat. to Wed From 3:00 to7:00 pm
Thur. from 5:00 to 8:00 pm – Closed on Friday and public holidays
103, Lavasani (Farmanieh)St., Tehran Tell:22727010
Ramblings of a flâneur
A flâneur is an urban, post-industrial phenomenon. The city is where he dwells and the act of roaming is itself his objective. What is brought about, as such, is less important than the peripatetic exercise. By extension, a flâneur lays no claim to discovery. She is autistic, suspended in cacophonous space, under the sway of a diverse regime of signs that she is unable/unwilling to compile or process. Thus, his act is suffused with randomness, of a kind that makes certainty about signs and events impossible. This lack of certainty is indeed the fulcrum on which the above-mentioned relationship with the general public rests. He offers to view that which doesn’t require interpretation, doesn’t bring surety and must be taken at face value.
Arash Fayez’s use of the word in this exhibit is both true-to-form and paradoxical. As viewers of his (fake or real) Polaroid images, we relate to them on a simple plane of understanding and association. Some hint at nostalgia, especially the “real” (old bookstore fronts, abandoned movie houses, forsaken confectionary shop, old municipal markers, etc.). Others frame simple humorous moments (the wall drawing of a dove perched over the wreath of flowers highlighting the word “Iran” in the middle, the graffiti depicting a smiling young boy with the letters BBC added later by another graffitist, the meddling with municipal wall paintings, a sheep on the back of a van on a quiet street, etc.). No matter how we see them, however, these images tell a simple story, one that doesn’t require erudition to unscramble.
Arash Fayez Translated by Sohrab Mahdavi
1 I had come across the word Flâneur in a collection of Mehran Mohajer, a word that Charles Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin and thenmany others used to propound their theories.