Art And Culture

Art Program on Intercultural Understanding

Art Program  on Intercultural Understanding Art Program  on Intercultural Understanding

An intercultural exhibition titled ‘Where Are We?’ showcasing artworks from Austrian artists was recently held at Vista Art Gallery in Tehran.

A project from Hinterland Gallery in Vienna, Austria, works by a group of Vienna-based artists were displayed to introduce the art of the central European country to Iranians, honaronline reported.

The event was the start of a series of exhibitions to promote intercultural understanding. For the first venue eight artists - all living in Vienna - were invited to work on their personal understanding of identity, and their personal perception or historical image of national identity.

The exhibition showcased works by: Vooria Aria (Iran/Austria), Renald Deppe, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Clemens Krauss, Constantin Luser and Niko Wahl ( all from Austria), Lisl Ponger (Germany/Austria), Nives Widauer (Switzerland/Austria) and Ilma Rakusa (Switzerland).

A video by Ponger, photographer/filmmaker, titled ‘Passage’ screened at the gallery entrance showed conversations of illegal immigrants’ wandering along the borders. The talks, against the background of pretty scenery from tourist attractions of the departure and destination places of immigrants, presented a look at the post-colonial world, giving viewers an understanding of the horrible experiences of strangers in a place far from home.

Luser presented a short animation tilted ‘Red Rope’ which was a portrayal of organic forms transformed into industrial and war machines, and finally into a small dollar bill. His motion picture depicted conflicts in modern times. In the end, all the clashes are over money.

  Pomegranate Project

An interesting part of the exhibit was a pomegranate brought by Widauer, filmmaker/stage designer. Pomegranate is an art project that basically deals with the history, symbolism and background of the pomegranate in different cultures, regions and religions.

As Widauer said, it’s about childhood memories, which “often intertwine with memories of food we ate and trees and plants we saw”. With the project she aims to help establish a worldwide symbol of peaceful interreligious dialogue.

Pomegranate is a symbol of fertility, wisdom and beauty amongst others and appears in art and literature, as well as in religious contexts. The fruit is a tremendous source of vitality.

“I collect photos of people from all over the world, holding a pomegranate in their hands.” She plans to design a little sticker in the shape of a pomegranate that people can wear, signaling that they are open to interreligious dialogue.

She asked visitors to take a picture with the pomegranate and send it to her via email so she can use them later in her book.

A collection of photos by Krauss, an installation of slates by Aria, sculptor, and an installation of newspapers by Wahl formed other parts of the exhibit. A separate video by Fruhauf, filmmaker/photographer, titled ‘Mountain Trip’, displayed beautiful pictures from the Alps mountain range.

On the sidelines of the event, Maria Seifert, an Austrian filmmaker/journalist held a workshop on Austrian Cinema. Also, Prof. Amir-Ali Noujoumian from Shahid Beheshti University along with artists Wahl and Aria made speeches on identity.

The event was held in cooperation with the Austrian Cultural Forum and Swiss Embassy in Tehran.