Art And Culture

Distorting Expectations

Art & Culture Desk
Distorting ExpectationsDistorting Expectations

An installation exhibition by five Iranian artists is underway at Shirin Art Gallery in Tehran which is different from the usual stuff audiences witness.

What differentiates the show is the approach of the artists toward the notion of art and the way the works are displayed.

The paintings are on the floor facing the walls, the other artworks are scattered or piled up in the corners of the dimly illuminated hall while some are covered with bubble wraps. It appears like some sort of a basement full of artworks left behind and gathering dust.

Many visitors mistake it with an exhibition that is in the making and still not  ready for the people. Some are rather kind of surprised to find out this is really the show they have come to see.

Titled ‘Sonnet for Incapacitation’, the exhibit is the product of a group work by artists Farnaz Rabieejah, Safaeddin Emami, Sepehr Bakhtiari, Iman Safaei and Behrang Samadzadegan.

In a talk with the Financial Tribune, Samadzadegan, on behalf of all the five artists, said: “Almost always visitors see artworks based on their default attitude and preferences. They hardly look for the idea behind the works or the real purpose of artists who create them. What the audiences conceive is rooted in the personal concepts they already have in mind and they mostly do not try to see them through the lens of the creators”.

“That’s why all the works in the exhibition - presented as one collective whole - have been set in a way so as to be camouflaged,” he added.

However, Samadzadegan and his partners have set up the show, though in a bizarre style, to let visitors themselves reflect upon the exhibited works. “This is our primary goal in art to make the viewers think,” he says.

In the exhibit, he and his friends have sought to understand whether artists should only respond to the people’s expectations and seek to just satisfy their taste. “I personally prefer to cause a disruption, if you may, in their presuppositions; I believe this is one of the things art can do,” Samadzadegan noted.

 “The fundamental ideas of history of art have faded in today’s world, particularly in Iran. An artist must be innovative and come up with new theories in their own field; if they go on producing what already exists, the art world will get stuck in time and not move ahead.”

Samadzadegan, 38, has a master’s degree in fine arts from Tarbiat Modares University. He is a member of the Association of Iranian Painters and visual editor of ‘Tehran Avenue’ electronic magazine.

He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in and outside Iran, namely ‘Military Attendance’ (2006) at Golestan Art Gallery in Tehran and ‘Meeting With the Heterotopias, a selection from the Thessaloniki Biennale: One of Contemporary Art’ (2008) at the Municipal Gallery of Larisa in Greece.

‘Sonnet for Incapacitation’, which takes its name from one of the poems of Iranian poet, writer and journalist, Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000), will remain open through October 20 at the gallery located at No.5, Sanaei St., Karimkhan Ave.

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