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Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida (Works)

Selected Works

Naghmeh Abbasi: The Widest Window, 2009. Video, 6:00 min. It moves imperceptibly, an enigmatic form becomes a human figure lost in nature. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Abbas Akhavan: August 2006, 2006. Video, 7:43 min. Abbas Akhavan’s practice ranges from situational ephemeral installations to drawing, video, and performance. His earlier works explore the relationship between the house and nation state and how the trauma and systemic violence enacted upon civilians can be inherited and re-enacted within the family; the home becoming a forked space between hospitality and hostility. More recent works have shifted focus onto spaces just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes. 2006 was shot in Vancouver, Canada, during a fireworks festival, but the film is equally evocative of both violent explosions taking place at war zones outside Canada, and perceived via news media. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Morehshin Allahyari: Over There is Over Here, 2010. Video, 5:06 min. Over There Is Over Here explores the dialectics of time and space, real and imaginary, to address the position of those who have left Iran in recent years in relation to the position of current political prisoners in Iran. The project uses 3D animation and data glitch as a way to emphasize the absence of the presence in collapsible time sequence. A found photo of political prisoners is perhaps hundred years old, but as the prisoners in it are chained to each other, so the past is chained to its present, generation after generation. The animation starts with the images of political prisoners from the past, but the names called are those of prisoners currently in solitary confinement in Iran, located in Azadi Square in Tehran (azadi means freedom); the same square where protests took place during the Green Movement in 2009. The narrator of Over There Is Over Here alternates between the neutral third person position and the actual position of the author — the artist telling her story out of Iran, while many of her friends and classmates remain imprisoned. The artist casts herself as outsider —but also outside the prison walls. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Mehraneh Atashi: Gulistan, 2011. Video, 8:26 min. “The night was spent at the garden with a friend; such pleasant setting with tree branches meeting above, as if pieces of crystal and the cluster of Pleiades were hanging from its vines. In the morning, when the thought of return exceeded the desire to stay, I saw my friend ready to leave for the city with a lapful of flowers, basil, and hyacinth." Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Amir Bastan: Daily Monologues, 2011. Video, 1:48 min. “I am Amir Bastan. I was born in 1991, Iran. I am majoring in painting at a university. I like reading poems and philosophical theories. I don't insult anyone. I like walking in the rain. I like my family and country. (…)” These words come from “A rude, expectant and bright generation. The generation that grew with the old one's animation movies and all of a sudden located among the new media facility! The generation that watches Farsi One as well as Ramadan Series. The generation that uses its "thumbs up" for swearing as well as confirming, liking. The generation whose "facebook-like" behavior and attitude penetrates up to his appearance. The generation that doesn't discuss; it talks; talks loudly. Its "anarchic behavior" is "knitted bracelet" and "classic glasses." It does everything for being heard; being seen. This generation is the generation of not getting along; the generation of borrowed ideals; the hollow reforms. This generation is my generation, the generation that doesn't hear/ doesn't want to. It talks; talks loudly. I'm not interested in continuing to write this text anymore!” Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Bahar Behbahani: Saffron Tea, 2008. Video, 12:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. In both her paintings and video works, Bahar Behbahani addresses volatility of references to a specific place — since her work is autobiographical, this place is Iran of her experience — but personal memories are continuously reconfigured, and inserted back into the in history of the place which is remembered, via artistic practice, which serves as distancing device and as lens though which these deep feelings of displacement and longing can be conveyed. In Saffron Tea, as she is submerged in a large water tank, we see her, suffocating in the water; but we also see what she sees from this confinement, through the water ripples and mnemonic distortions — a well-appointed living room, with shimmering warm light, fruit and crystal, and elderly women fanning themselves in summer’s heat. Incongruity of this divided vision is emphasized by cool empty space in which the water tank is placed, a kind of capsule of existence, which is self-contained. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Kaya Behkalam & Azin Feizabadi: Negotiation, 2010. Video, 36:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Negotiation examines scenarios of political conflict through a staged negotiation in a UN Security Council-like set. The script presents a group of actors with a three-act drama on an unspecified revolutionary situation. They proceed to rehearse and embody both their real and scripted characters — the boundaries between fictional and factual histories, individual and collective desires, projections and biographical backgrounds become more and more blurred in the process. Prompted by the authority of a narrator, the actors discuss, improvise and negotiate the necessity for action. But to what extent can action be thought and performed beyond the inherited dramaturgical patterns? Produced by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Arash-Fayez: Allah'o Akbar, 2009. Video, 3:48 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The video has been recorded in Tehran during the days after the contested presidential elections in 2009 — people in the neighborhood tirelessly call out Allah'o Akbar from their roofs, their voices reverberate through the night as the bright lights from the nearby mosque change from black-and-white to green, through history, from 1979 to 2009. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Barbad Golshiri: Cura*; The Rise and Fall of Aplasticism, 2011. Video documentation of an aplastic play, performance at 4th Moscow Biennial. Image courtesy the artist, Thomas Erben Gallery and OtherIS; photo by Sergey Morozov. Barbad Golshiri in his play, performance, and video documentation of the performance at the Moscow Biennial, 2011, locates a living (artist’s) body within a discursive space derived from a photograph of the Kasimir Malevich’s historic 0.10 exhibition. Both Malevich and Golshiri engage text, image, and experience in their respective reliving of the (exhibition) space that is circumscribed as “aplastic space.” As the audience enters Kazimir Malevich’s room in 0.10: The Last Futurist Exhibition of Painting, it is dark. When lights go on, only nails and traces of the paintings that have been removed from their places in the famous photograph are visible. The performer sits on a chair; speechless, hooded, dressed all in black, with only his mouth and a wound to the left of his abdomen bared. The wound is a sentence in Braille cauterized on the flesh. He stretches his hand out to the viewers, takes their index fingers and leads them to touch the wound and read the script from left to right. When they touch the embossed dots, lights go off. Next day, the square patch of skin with the text is surgically removed without anesthesia. On the third day, the square of flesh is cured and placed inside a frame filled with salt. The frame is of the same size as Malevich’s Black Square; it is hung in its original place, the Red Corner. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Anahita Hekmat: Apparition #1 & #5, 2004 - 2008. Video, 4:57 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The video series entitled Apparitions is a work-in-progress on the subject childhood, on which Hekmat is working since 2004. Apparitions features children struggling to interact with their surrounding environment and people. Typology of personal rituals that children are performing is conceived of as metaphor of the learning process. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Setareh Jabbari: Some Ways to Reach the Revolution, 2009. Video, 7:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Enghelab (Revolution) Square and its surrounding streets are always clogged with traffic, just like any other square or street in Tehran. To get there, one has to consider various factors — such as like time, traffic, cost, and lots of other things. If you don’t make a right choice, you will get there either too early or too late. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Mirak Jamal: Running Man, 1999-2011. Video, 9:14 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. In his performative video project entitled Running Man, ongoing since 1991, Mirak Jamal tells a story of a life that runs through many places, but in the same pace of a Running Man dance routine, first recorded with a group of children at the basement community center in Cologne, Germany, in 1991. Since then, Jamal has been performing these dance steps at various sites over the years — in 2011, he created episodes of Running Man in front of the Marx and Engels monument in Berlin; on a boat in Amsterdam; and near his parents’ home in Toronto. The artist notes his realization of “how emphasized small gestures become in a setting of monotonous repetition. And how at times the narcissism of the “I” gets coincidentally reversed into a secondary role through accidental interplays of the background. I wish to embellish in the project at large the dissolution, through repetition and misplacement, of a symbolic act and embody a singular dimension comprised of a past/present/future.” Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Farhad Kalantary: The Day of Removal, 2010. Video, 6:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Farhad Kalantary works with film and video installations in a structural mode where imaging approaches abstraction. With a cultural insight gained through empathy, his works move freely between different cultural paradigms — he is of Azerbaijani-Iranian origin, educated in the US, and now lives in Norway. His films and videos explore spaces of living, work, and transit, often via the tension between sound and image that conveys the crisis of time and space, the anxiety of speed, the instabilities of vision, and the inherent violence of spaces that appear mundane. In The Day of Removal, a part of a trilogy entitled Trails of Water Behind a Passing Boat, we see three men working with jackhammers. The sequence is first slowed down, then it speeds up gradually as sequences are shortened by a steady removal of frames. An extensive presentation of Kalantary’s work is currently on view at Stenersen Museum, Oslo, in a video installation entitled The New Beginning, comprised of twenty distinct filmic segments. Kalantary is also an independent curator, and leads the artists-run space Atopia in Oslo. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Sohrab Kashani: The Adventures of Super Sohrab, 2011. Video (4:27 min), performance, and photo series, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Sohrab Kashani is an artist and curator based in Tehran; he is also the founder and director of Sazmanab Project. His SuperSohrab series comprise performative interventions that result in photographs, videos, and comics. The Adventures of SuperSohrab depicted in these series appear to be rather mundane — cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, reading, logging-in onto Facebook, and going to sleep. These are familiar tasks; familiarity of consumption aided by products that possess “global” brand recognition — such as Facebook, titles on the bookshelf, some candy; and even a customized Superman costume is somewhat familiar. Yet the situation in which these activities unfold is not that comfortable — it is estranged from itself. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Gelare Khoshgozaran: rial & tERROR, 2011. Video, 16:27 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Over a trial and error, it occurred to me that if “trial” lends a “t” to an error, our currency, rial, becomes “terror.” What becomes of a generation who has been deprived of those trivial enjoyments of life without having to feel guilty? The essential contradiction between a constant feeling of guilt imprinted on one by the suppressions of religion, ideology and traditional society, and the force of desire to break through these boundaries while calling for a substitute shapes the heart of the post Islamic Revolutionary generation of Iranians. It is probably this desire that largely causes misconceptions about capitalism and its relationship to notions such as “fun,” “entertainment,” or “freedom” in a country such as Iran. As a member of the generation succeeding a society’s becoming capitalized and westernized by a monarchy, a society that years later, through the Islamic Revolution, also experienced an attempted erasure of capitalism, I am interested in looking at the visual material circulating in the media, from TV commercials and pop music videos to home video footage; primary elements that contributed to the formation of an image of this historical and transitional period. This imagery was one of the many factors that contributed to the hybridity of my generation that was born out of this synthesis of the inevitable collision of modernization, the technological so-called democracy and a traditional society. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Shay Mazloom: Blank Surface, 2010. Video, 2:44 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Blank Surface is a work about the effects of social discourse on individuals, and incorporates language as a critical element of knowledge and power affecting identity. Words from texts describing the female body scroll across the surface and around the silhouette of the artist's own body like a snake or a laser-like scanning device searching for a vulnerable crevice or opening. In live performance, the viewer is a silent witness to the scene. Just as the artist is passive, and the words active, searching and defining, so the audience, too, is confined to the role of observers. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Payam Mofidi: Sha'er Koshi (Poéticide), 2009-2010. Video, 10:45 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. In a rather lethargic mood, a girl gets disillusioned in the veracity of events that affect her life. She sees herself trapped in a constant nightmare, from which she finds no reprieving exit. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Amirali Mohebinejad: 27 Minutes to Go, 2009. Video, 17:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The act of leaving is a very common prescription for sick societies, such as mine. It was never that common to me... It's understandable as a short-term treatment, but not as a permanent cure. For a nostalgic person that I am, it was the risk of missing homeland, childhood, family, memories, and friends; versus having some conditional opportunities in other places. It's about the price I pay. On the other hand, the number of people around me is constant decreasing, which is the sad part of staying. Unfortunately, I, as a non-leaver, just wait for the next goodbye; and as time goes by, I find myself increasingly alone in my own country. It is the concept of isolation. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Amitis Motevalli: Love Letters to Jeremy/Let Them Eat Yellowcake, 2011. Video, 12:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Love Letters to Jeremy/Let Them Eat Yellowcake* is a video derived from a performance, conceived in two parts to be shown simultaneously in Iran and outside Iran (the first simultaneous showing was to be in March 2011 at Aaran gallery, Tehran, and Morono Kiang gallery, Los Angeles, as part of My Superhero exhibition curated by Nazila Noebashari; only the “outside” segment has been shown there). In Part I, I am on the outside of a window looking in. I steam the window with my breath and write words backward onto the glass, English words such as on-the-edge and tee-ter, that indicate a position that does not fit-in or conform to a standard. As each word sequence begins to fade, I wipe it with my hand and blow onto the window to write again. With each word, I become light-headed due to the heavy breathing. In Part II, I perform inside the café looking out. I write backward in Farsi with whipped cream onto the window in order to communicate with the outside. The words that I write play with language and have multiple meanings. After each word is written, I lick the cream off of the window. With this set of words, I maintain a certainty and awareness. Words with specific connotations are used to engage the viewers and place them either inside or outside the window. When writing Farsi, I am inside, you are out. When writing English, I am outside, you are in. Regardless of position, context, and environment, I initiate a dialogue; in Part I, it leaves me breathless, in Part II, it nourishes me. * Yellowcake is slang for Uranium. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Allahyar Najafi: I Have No Plan, 2089. Video, 3:24 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. I had no plan. I was free, I had no plan, I had nothing to do, I had no plan when the phone rang, It was just sort of dating, We had nothing to do, We just met, The train wasn’t my idea, It wasn’t his, What we’ve done just, Sitting, Speaking, Kissing, Touching, Fucking, Raping, Beating, Walking, Thinking, Shooting, Looking, Kissing, Answering, Crying, Screaming, Breathing. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Nassrin Nasser: Raining Ashes, 2011. Video, 07:40 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The film is a symbolic rendition of an illusory relationship between a prisoner in solitary confinement and an activist. The prisoner is imagining the activist writing to her out of vigilance and sympathy. Eventually, this conjecture turns out to belong more to the writer than the prisoner. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Nosrat Nosratian: Fall, 2009. Video, 6:56 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. In his videos, Nosrat Nosratian engages duration - of the everyday and that of existence - via a time element of a moving image, often in a non-narrative or repetitive sequences, such as channel surfing in front of a TV, or accumulations of abstract or natural elements into clusters. If spectator chooses to submit her time to the video duration, this suspended narrative unravels in a sudden coda - an intervention of a decisive, telling moment into a non-descript sequence of time, a blissful fall... Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Shadi Noyani: The Iron Heel, 2011. Video, 4:10 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The video is eponymous with the title of a novel by Jack London, which was published in 1908 in the US. In this novel, some of the writer’s socialist leanings are evident. The book was banned many times either before and after the Revolution. The film comprises three episodes concerning the book - the first, before the 1979 Iranian Revolution; second, during the Revolution; and third, after the Revolution; and records the changes in society from 1977 until 1980. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Ramin Rahimi: The Red Thing, 2010. Video, 1:20 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. A giant red thing invades the city and desperately tries to get people's attention. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Anahita Razmi: White Wall Tehran, 2007. Video, 0:45 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. On her trip to Iran in January 2007, the artist was stopped on the street in Tehran by the Iranian revolutionary guards because she had been filming them. They erased 27 seconds of her video by filming the white inner wall of their headquarters. The re-recorded footage is devoid of figures, but filled with sounds: a radio transceiver, somebody stirring coffee, music playing. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Shirin Sabahi: Swede Home, 1966/1973/1975/2009. DV PAL video converted from 8mm film, color, sound, min English commentary by Jan Edman, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Swede Home evolves from three reels of 8-mm film taken by Jan Edman (1928), a retired Swedish engineer who traveled to Iran nearly 15 times between 1966 and 1979 when master plans for modernization of the country were at the forefront. The films obtained from Jan Edman in order to be used in the project are the following: 1966, Iran: work trip with Kampsax A/S, a Copenhagen-based mapping company to Tehran for the feasibility study of cold store at the Teheran Slaughterhouse, visits to cities of Amol and Anzali. 1973, Iran: work trip to Shiraz for the feasibility study and proposals for 1&1 canning company, visits to Persepolis and Tehran. 1975, Iran: work trip to Tehran for school milk project study accompanied by Jan's family, visit to cities of Gorgan and Rasht. Swede Home incorporates three reels of Edman's films from Iran of the '60s and the '70s while Edman provides a commentary on his films some thirty years later, when his memory and his visual documentation meet again. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Sona Safaei: Aleph, 2009. Video, 2:35 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The artist states, “Thinking a lot about Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), I realized that one of the things it is about is minimizing the subject, indicating that the removal of one subject can allow for the appearance of another. Vincent Katz’s Aleph, no. 1, is the unthinkable life death, abstract principle of all that is and all that is not. Carlo Suares’s Aleph is the first letter of Hebrew, Arabic, and Farsi alphabet. It is believed to be the symbol of spiritual root of all harmony, beginning of life and thought. Aleph is an implication to an abstract and dysfunctional alphabet, which never gets the chance to appear on the paper, and demolishes from the very beginning of its content. The performative act of erasing amplifies Aleph with a paradoxical characteristic of creation and destruction. There is mourning for the deceased where at the same time is delighting for the newborn. In this piece, I am destructing Aleph, my handwriting, my drawing, and my art in an attempt to recreate. Repeatedly erasing the known and making a path through the unknown, with an awareness of being under the gaze of remnants, I name it Aleph, the beginning and the end.” Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Hamed Sahihi: Sundown, 2008. Video, 03:30 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. The Caspian shore - situated in the North of Iran - is one of the most favored vacation spots for the residents of Tehran, who usually drive there for the holidays. There, one encounters different people enjoying their time at the beach. This video records this time and encounters that take place. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Bahar Samadi: Upwards, 2010. Video, 3:03 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Upwards is a video experiment in which a narrative is removed, and data transmitted through the audio channel only, with just one image from a fixed camera. Recording of time, and drawing viewers' attention to its passing, is one aim of this experiment… the fact that nothing happens during the video within a fixed frame gives one a chance to have uninterrupted experience of time. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Zeinab Shahidi: Artificial Respiration, 2011. Video, 1:34 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. This video shows a close-up of a man's face; he is looking at the camera and blinking. The consistency of this persistent gaze makes you wonder if the continuity of this action is a simulation. The artist's intention is to create a moving, breathing image out of a recorded moment. She projected the video loop on the wall, and reshot the projected digital video with a 16 mm film camera in black and white, with a 45-degree angle. The sound comes from a 35 mm photo camera's shutter. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Jinoos Taghizadeh: Good Night, 2009. Video, 22:25 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Mothers sing lullabies to their children, so they can sleep peacefully. Revolutionary anthems are composed to awaken, to encourage, and to inspire. A child sleeps in a white cradle, which stands on a red floor next to a green wall - the colors of the Iranian flag; the cradle moves like a pendulum, and Iranian revolutionary anthems that had been sung by marching men thirty years ago, are now sung by a female voice, in a slow tempo, like a lullaby. These anthems speak of pain, blood and uprising; of death and martyrdom of the youth, and of rebellion, of passion for freedom and a brighter future; away from darkness and despotism. But the child is peacefully asleep, a long lasting sleep. The revolutionary spirit that was supposed to awaken has put the child to sleep ...the lullaby becomes a cry for awakening. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Negar Tahsili: Wee-men or Women?! 2008. Video, 26:00 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. Social body experience from a woman’s perspective in Tehran is the focus of Tahsili’s documentary films. Her work Wee-men or Women?! follows a female-only Tehran taxi driver around town - potential dangers of public transportation for women traveling alone are discussed along the way with the driver. Concurrently, self-defense courses for women are featured. At the surprise ending of the film, the attack comes from where it is not expected; and neither special transportation nor self-defense can protect against this powerful assailant. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida
Katayoun Vaziri: Shout for Me, 2009. Video,8:40 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS. 2009 was the year of Iran's contested Presidential elections that prompted protests both inside and outside Iran. Shout for Me depicts the first protest that occurred in front of the UN in New York, and follows not the protesters but rather the cameramen and women who film them. Many news agencies covered the event - each camera focusing on different aspects of the protest. Some journalists interviewed the protesters, others captured the chanting or snapped poignant images. Cameras, booms, cords, cases - the images showcase the technology involved in documenting the event. The viewer becomes cognizant of how an event is captured, recorded, and distributed. A coiffed and made-up announcer recites a headline with stereotypical phrasing, "Their protest is small, but their message is coming across loud and clear." The viewer witnesses the construction of the media, as it questions the relationship between observer and observed. Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida

a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida

Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida

December 13 - 17, 2011

Iran via Video Current – a screening curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida Press Release

Thomas Erben Gallery presents Iran via Video Current, a project of OtherIS – a curatorial initiative conceived to address cultural production and exchange with countries under international sanctions.

The main question in transnational art production is who represents whom and for whom? This project engages the problem of representation via an ongoing exchange among participants in Iran and elsewhere, as conveyed in the two distinct, yet co-related video programs focused on Iran — one by Tehran-based artist and curator Amirali Ghasemi and another by New York-based curator and scholar Sandra Skurvida. Both curators started their research from their respective locales, yet both programs include artists who live in Iran and elsewhere around the world.

In her program entitled 1979/1357-, Skurvida revisits the sightlines of the most prominent, controversial Western observer of the Iranian Revolution, Michel Foucault. Both his advocacy and the ensuing critique of it reverberate in the appraisals of the recent and current events. The year denoted equally as “1979” and “1357” signifies the difference in time borne out of the societal spaces that are not the same. This negotiation unfolds in the works by Abbas Akhavan, Morehshin Allahyari, Amir Bastan, Bahar Behbahani, Kaya Behkalam & Azin Feizabadi, Barbad Golshiri, Arash Fayez, Mirak Jamal, Farhad Kalantary, Sohrab Kashani, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Amitis Motevalli, Nosrat Nosratian, Anahita Razmi, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Negar Tahsili, and Katayoun Vaziri.

Ghasemi anchors his purview in the present moment and a worldwide network associated with Parkingallery, Tehran, which he founded in 1998. His program, entitled If We Ever Meet Again… (With a Hidden Track), introduces a generation of artists raised after 1979. This generation may be characterized by its responsive attitude — as if it “had no plans,” according to Allahyar Najafi’s video — yet it holds forth a conscious presence in the environment of impositions, sanctions, apprehensions, and expectations. Such a presence asserts an unconditional attachment to the specificity of the origin — apart from the conventions established by the diaspora — yet it extends this original stance towards other contexts, as communication in the personal mode is shared in the featured works by Naghmeh Abbasi, Mehraneh Atashi, Setareh Jabbari, Anahita Hekmat, Payam Mofidi, Shay Mazloom, Amirali Mohebinejad, Allahyar Najafi, Nassrin Nasser, Shadi Noyani, Ramin Rahimi, Shirin Sabahi, Sona Safaie, Bahar Samadi, Hamed Sahihi, and Zeinab Shahidi.

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