Art And Culture

Iran, Austria Cultural Exchange in Art Exhibit

A sample of works on display at Isfahan Museum  of Contemporary Art
A sample of works on display at Isfahan Museum  of Contemporary Art

A joint exhibition between Iran and Austria is currently open to the public in Isfahan at the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art.

Titled ‘RTL:LTR’ (right to left, left to right), the exhibit is curated by artists and curators Tarlan Rafiee and Yashar Samimi Mofakham, and is supported by Bread & Salt Projects from Iran, and the Austrian visual artist Peter Assmann.

A total of 15 Iranian and 17 Austrian artists have come together in the event with the common goal of enhancing cultural exchanges between the two countries through the universal language of visual arts.

The 32 exhibited works include paintings, drawings, photos and video arts created on different subjects.

Each piece exhibited individually represents a part of the art, culture, language of the artist. The collection overall provides the viewer with a representation of the contemporary culture of the artist’s country to some extent.

The event was first launched at Galerie Forum in the Austrian city of Wels in June 2016 and later at Vienna’s Artmark Gallery in August and September. Coming to Iran, the same collection was shown at Lajevardi Foundation in Tehran in October.

“It is a good example of a non-commercial exhibition and a cultural dialogue between nations. It is an outstanding collaboration between Iranian and Austrian curators. The main goal of Bread & Salt is to make friendship, peace and dialogue and we believe we achieved what we were looking for from this project,” Rafiee said.

The exhibition title has been taken from the acronyms LTR and RTL, which are used to indicate the direction of writing from left to right, or vice versa in information technologies. These abbreviations are used in programming and web-design particularly to distinguish Latin text from Farsi and Arabic. Right to left and left to right are also used to define what is sent from the East to the West (and vice versa), the direction of reading and writing, as well as the direction of movement in hands, bodies, and the gaze. This orientation has always been of concern in visual, cinematic, educational, and psychological theories.

  Traditional Iranian Concept

Founded in 2008 by Rafiee and Samimi Mofakham, Bread & Salt is an artistic and cultural project based on an old Iranian concept that exists in many other cultures as well.

Offering bread and salt is a traditional custom which expresses hospitality to guests in order to create lasting friendship. This connection created over a table, where bread and salt has been served, is one of the strongest bonds in Iranian culture.

In the Bread & Salt curatorial projects that have taken place up to now, the goal has been to create such a bond.

Iranian artists participating in the exhibition include Samira Alikhanzadeh, Mojtaba Amini, Reza Aramesh, Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Mazdak Ayari, Ala Ebtekar, Saeed Ensafi, Behnaz Ghassemi, Nargess Hashemi, Sahand Hesamiyan, Farrokh Mahdavi, Farnaz Rabiejah, Tarlan Rafiee, Yashar Samimi Mofakham and Golnaz Taheri.

And the Austrian artists whose works are showcased are Peter Assmann, Christine Bauer, Josef Bauer, Herbert Egger, Thomas Enzenhofer, Ursula Guttmann, Markus Anton Huber, Walter Kainz, Marion Kilianowitsch, Maria Meusburger, Josef Ramaseder, Wolfgang Maria Reiter, Markus Riebe, Eckart Sonnleitner, Erich Spindler, Isa Stein, Andreas Strohhammer

Inaugurated on January 2, enthusiasts can visit the Isfahan exhibit until February 2.

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