IRAN Vs. Guided by Amirali Ghasemi at PiST///
PiST/// Interdisciplinary Project Space has started its Artist Information project on May 2007 to focus on Istanbul and Turkey’s contemporary art production. On 2010 this project will cross borders to focus on contemporary art practices abroad. The first country of this research series will be Iran, a neighboring country with a 499 km border with Turkey. Its capital Tehran is 66 hours away from Istanbul by train and 3 hours by plane. Iran is one of a few countries that does not request a visa from Turkish passport holders. There is a 1,5 hours time difference in between them. Both countries have a population of over 70 billion. While there is a lack of local support for the contemporary art production in Turkey, it is the opposite in Iran, rather it is difficult to get international support.
Amirali Ghasemi is an independent curator and media artist from Tehran. He is the founder of the independent art space Parkingallery and since 1998 he continues his projects there, in different countries / cities and online. Starting from January 2010, Saturday and for the following 4 weeks, PiST will start a research period with the guidance of Amirali on Iranian contemporary art. This instruction, research and discussion period will start with cliches and prejudices, and by the second week Amirali will return back to Tehran and we will continue screening those works of Iranian artists curated by him. The screenings will continue by Q&A sessions via a skype connection to Parkingallery with Amirali and those artists he will invite. On May 2010 Parkingallery will screen works from Turkey with the guidance of PiST and we will answer those questions forwarded from Tehran to Istanbul for 4 weeks.
16.01.2010 Sat 3 pm – 5 pm Amirali Ghasemi at PiST
30.01.2010 Sat 3 pm – 5 pm Live from Parkingallery
13.02.2010** Sat 3 pm – 5 pm Live from Parkingallery
20.02.2010** Sat 3 pm – 5 pm Live from Parkingallery
* The talks will be in English and there is a limited space for 30 people.
Pangalti Dere Sokak
We are really thankful to our fabulous designers at NewBookz Studio,
Sam Keshmiri (Cover(s) and Poster) and Shahab Tondar (Book Design)
who created this wonderful book in the occasion of the exhibition.
Limited Access II catalog is sponsored by Parkingallery and Mooweex.com and published by NewBookz
in 82 Pages, sized 14 x 21 cm and in black & white, with the Edition of 400,in November 2009.
we are very happy to present you “Candlelight And Its Side Effects”
documentation of the new Interactive Video Installation by Payman Abbasian for parkingallery’s Limited Access II.
This is how Payman himself describes his works:
I’ve been analyzing the video from a web-cam to find the highest concentration of brightness, then I use it as an starting point to apply/add computer generated fluid waves and particles to it as if it’s coming out of the fire, I found it an interesting idea to create an live interactive experience, using processing as its programming environment that’s why I decided to called it like this.
As Doctor Prescribed by Amirali Ghasemi and Hamed Sahihi | 2009 |
Vocals: Nazli Bodaghi | Sound recording: Soheil Peyghambari |
Recorded at Kargadan Studio | Music by: Martin Shamounpour
The Dada Disgust: A Medical Profile*
27 July 2009
‘…[C]ruel with myself… .’
‘The exhibition is disgusting’, visitors would say. ‘And it is probably the most powerful thing he has ever done,’ they would add. [Of course, he hadn’t done it. It had been done to him, or, in certain cases, he had himself exposed to it.] To make it short: there was no doubt that Amir Ali Ghasemi’s exhibition at Azad Art Gallery was powerfully disgusting.
As a visitor, I personally take no pleasure in being disgusted. Generally, what I expect from artistic encounter is not so much about ‘being moved’, rather about seeing a clever ‘move’ on behalf of the artist. There would have been little sense, and probably even less art, in ‘AmirAli’s Medical Profile’ if it was less clever than moving.
The exhibition, in most part, simply documents the medical history of the artist in an objective manner. This is done with a scientific accuracy endowing the work with a solemn bitterness. No matter how much self-pity is intermingled, the works raging from videos to photographs, to narrative texts and interactive installations all testify to an ‘objective’ and ‘undeniable’ agony experienced through the processes they portray. They range from ‘facial irritations caused by being exposed to sever air pollution and floating dust’ to a picture of a broken left tumb to a Salbutamol spray to ‘nine metal objects in platinum including one main part with nine holes and eight screws installed on the right leg’s bone during 1993-4’ to ‘wounds and irritations on the left art caused by reactions to smoking and consuming hot potato chips, 16 July 2009’ and the like. The presentation of the works is sincere but careful and well thought of. The interactive shelves filled with objects considered irritating or disgusting to the artist, do not qualify for a kind ‘presentation’, they ‘perform’.
As a kind of self-portraiture and at least on the surface, the work is far from being narcissist. The artist happily engages in a brutal destruction of a social image we normally expect to be ‘healthy’, ‘lively’ and ‘coherent’. But fortunately, this is not what the work is all about: it does not try to seek compassion as documentary or journalistic photography might do: there is nothing to be done about what is portrayed. There is nobody to blame but life. All that is gathered in this one person could have happened separately to anyone of us. And it actually has. It is not a call for help: in certain cases, the artist has voluntarily exposed himself to a risk, turning photographs into documents of performances, which, instead of probing the limits of physical tolerance, portray the excessive vulnerability of ‘this’ single body.
While nothing is fictional here, the narrative texts documenting the events are extremely performative. The artist considers them not only a part of the exhibition, but rather an end to it, ‘I wanted to write them, so I made up this exhibition.’ While attempting in their way of writing to portray the harshness of a situation, they carefully limit themselves to the medical history they narrate. They contend themselves in saying, ‘it happened and it was so bad’ but all the same, they convey there is something very inhumane about this simple and apparently neutral way of saying it. It is as if the artist/author is addressing a coroner at a court session where every bit of human attention is exchanged with bits of evidence.
All this would have not been so meaningful if presented in a different location and to a different audience: it would have not been the same exhibition outside Tehran and Azad Art Gallery, an art gallery famous for its courageous management which dares to host most politically charged contemporary art exhibitions of today’s Iranian art scene. It is in this troubled city with a boiling political atmosphere that the true meaning of the exhibition unfolds: it is not a work of someone like Paul McCarthy, a master of disgust, humiliating the healthy-wealthy modern subject of a consumerist capitalist society, quite the contrary, it is an exposition of sheer vulnerability of a human body that only finds the freedom of criticizing infliction of pain upon bodies when it is presented in a greater generality. Thus, it is not an exhibition only about ‘now’ and ‘here’: it is about thirty years of history that the artist and his generation have experienced which has left them alone with a sort of ‘dada disgust’. It is about a ‘wrong life that cannot be lived correctly’, as Adorno would have had it, which we tried to live.
So there it is, a powerfully disgusting exhibition nurturing on an urge probably located at the intersection of Artaud and Rimbaud: trying to be cruel to one’s self in portraying himself while at the same time implicity stating that ‘I is the Other’.
* ‘Amir Ali’s Medical Profile’ was held at Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, from 24th till 29th July 2009. Further info and images of the work can be found at www.azadartgalery.com and the artist’s personal website:
The 2009 International edition of Parkingallery’s successful project LIMITED ACCESS (Azad Art Gallery, March 2007), will be heading Azad Art Gallery in early November, 2009. This year the project includes internationally curated video screening, plus special events showcasing the latest New Media, Sound Art and Performance projects from Tehran.
LIMITED ACCESS 2
Series of events, video screenings, hearing sessions and performances from Tehran and elsewhere
Organized by Parkingallery in collaboration with Azad Art Gallery and Mooweex
Azad Art Gallery
No 5, Salmas Square, Golha Square, Tehran
30 October – 4 November 2009
Daily Visiting Hours: Fri – Thurs 4-8 pm
Opening night and performances: Friday 30 October, 4-8 pm