Pi Artworks, Istanbul: Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward: Mirrors on Iran

Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward: Mirrors on Iran
Morteza Ahmadvand – Mahmoud Bakhshi – Pedram Baldari – Simin Keramati – Neda Razavipour – Farniyaz Zaker
2012-06-29 _ 2012-09-29

Pi Artworks hosts six Iranian artists in the video art exhibition titled “Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward: Mirrors on Iran”. Video works of Morteza Ahmadvand, Mahmoud Bakhshi, Pedram Baldari, Simin Keramati, Neda Razavipour and Farniyaz Zaker can be seen both at Pi Artworks Galatasaray and Pi Artworks Tophane between the dates June 29th – September 29th, 2012.

The exhibition holds a mirror on Iran through moving image. Six videos from six artists who are born in and live in Iran reflecting the realities of their country from different aspects.

In his video titled “Simorgh”, Morteza Ahmadvand starts off an Iranian Sufi story about the birds in search of Simorgh, where only some strong birds achieve finding in the end. Mahmoud Bakhshi puts himself in the place of a soldier in the military who serves  under the flag; “Military Service Under The Flag” reminds the act of a soldier in military service who must do special tasks repeatedly. Pedram Baldari’s “Fatiha” (an Islamic word that comes from two chapters of Qoran) exposes a religious rituel in a different and critical context.

In “School Diary” Simin Keramati handles the school concept as “a safe place to have fun in order to learn all the basic terms” after the violent actions experienced in Iran and different parts of the world. Neda Razavipour’s video “Find The Lost One” invites the audience into a game, a sick game for a cynical society; the game is to find the lost one, in Tehran. Farniyaz Zaker argues the similar role of the veil and window for women, although the materiality of both are different in “Puppet Behind The Curtain”; producing unreal spaces for women.

It must be inevitable for those artists to create under the effect of the special social and political conditions they experince since years. Telling their own stories through the monitor of their own social realities gives audience the chance to observe the different experiences.

“Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward: Mirrors on Iran” can be seen at Pi Artworks Galatasaray and Pi Artworks Tophane till the 29th of September, 2012, between the hours 10:30-19:30 except Sundays and Mondays.

* The exhibition is curated by Etemad Gallery (Dubai/Tehran)

MORTEZA AHMADVAND
(1981, Khoram Abad)

He’s a multimedia artist working on various fields; including drawing, painting video arts and installations. Morteza Ahmadvand’s video pieces speak about liberty and generational changes. These works question how the individual deals with a continually growing world, where only a small percentage of the population have real freedom. Ahmadvand’s career started in painting and the traces of his painterly gestures can be observed in his videos.

After completing his bachelor and masters studies in Painting at University of Tehran, he made his solo exhibitions at Etemad Gallery (Tehran, 2011) and at The University of Tehran Art Gallery (Tehran, 2009). “1st International Video Art Festival” at Katara Art Center, Doha, Qatar (2011); “Iranian Pulse – Contemporary Art From Iran” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2011); “Life, Flight” at Traffic Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2011); “The 4th International Painting Biennial of Islamic World” at Saba Gallery, Tehran (2006) are some of the exhibitions he participated. In 2013 one of his video works will be exhibited at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature Paris for six months. He got the “Best Director Award” in 2011 with his short animation titled “This is the Money for Fish” at the 25th International Children and Young Adults Film Festival of Iran. Besides various private collections, his work is included in the collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.

MAHMOUD BAKHSHI
(1977, Tehran)

The main inspiration for Mahmoud Bakhshi's works comes from political and social issues in Iran, which he sets up as propositions in his extensive practice of sculpture, mixed media, film and paintings. He invites the viewer to seek answers in his works, as he makes connections between present and past histories of his country. His works are investigations that are highly informed and experiential.

After he won the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize in 2009, he had a solo exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London titled “The Engaged Artist; Influences of Graphics on Sculpture in Middle Ages” in 2010. His selected solo exhibitions include “Recycle” at Etemad Gallery (Tehran, 2011), “Bah Man” at Galerie Thadaeus Ropac (Paris, 2011), “Tulips Rise From The Blood of The Nation’s Youth” at Azad Art Gallery (Tehran, 2009), “Mahmoud’s Driving School” at Tehran Gallery (Tehran, 2006). Some of the group exhibitions he participated are “The 4th Auckland Triennial”, New Zealand (2010); “Untitled” at Khastoo Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2008); “Lion Under The Rainbow: Contemporary Art From Tehran” in Athens, Greece (2008); “Eastern Expressway” at Evangelische Stadtakademie, Frankfurt, Germany (2007); “Asian Art Now” at Alternative Space Loop, Seoul, South Korea (2006). Besides various private collections, his works are included in the collection of Tate Modern.

PEDRAM BALDARI
(1981, Sanandaj)

Pedram Baldari has been executing and exhibiting his concept-driven works in the form of installations, video and performance, all centering around his curiosity and ideas on the realms of socio-political life in Iran and the Middle East. His practice covers a vast contextual area. Baldari is currently working on portraying the current states of human affairs admits diverse social topics such as issues around racial and religious minorities, women’s rights, social hegemonic confrontations, media and other distorting and truth-bending apparatuses.

Baldari obtained a BA in Architecture from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran in 2005. His works have been exhibited in Tehran since then. He made an interactive Installation at Victoria & Albert Museum in 2012, won the first prize from Delfina Foundation in partnership with Victoria and Albert Museum and joined a three month residency program there.

SIMIN KERAMATI
(1970, Tehran)

“Keramati focuses on ‘self’ and all which is evolving within self, prompted by the external factors. Most of Keramati’s works revolve around ‘Woman’. She recites herself, in a style free from stylistic influence or a particular style. It seems as if she is struggling to find a way to portray the inner and outer words of women…” (Art Tomorrow)

Her video works and paintings were exhibited at Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, India (2011); 53 Art Museum in Guangzhou, China (2011); group exhibition titled “Hinterland” in Berlin, Germany (2011); triennial “Silence-Storm” curated by Necmi Sonmez, at Izmir Port in Izmir (2010); her solo exhibition “Insomnia” at Etemad Gallery, Tehran (2010); group exhibition titled “7 Artists from Tehran” at Asia House, London, UK (2009);  F&A Projects, Paris, France (2008); Gallery of NJU, New York, USA (2008); Museum of Fine Arts, Freiburg, Germany (2006); Tokyo, Japan (2006); Sala I, Rome, Italy (2005). Keramati won the grand prize from Dhaka International Biennial in 2004.

NEDA RAZAVIPOUR
(1969, Tehran)

She is a multimedia artist working on various fields, including urban performances, photography, stage design, drawing, painting, video arts and installations. She plays often in her works with “generally accepted concepts” (idées reçues). Inspired from daily life, she juggles between intimate experiences and social issues. Much of her works encourage the audience to interact/ react in order to extend and complete the works’ meaning.

She studied Plastic Arts at the University of Paris I and she obtained an MA in Space/ Stage Design at Ecole National des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1998. Besides her solo exhibitions in Tehran, she participated in many local and international exhibitions including “Festival Kanal 2012” in Belgium (2012); “Iranian Arts Now” at Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France (2012); “Home Spun” at Devi Art Foundation in Delhi, India (2011); “Disturbing the Public Opinion” at Roda Sten Art Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden (2011); “Inside Tehran Out” in Zurich, Switzerland (2009); “Art Without Borders” in Istanbul (2007); “Iran.com – Iranisch Kunst Heute” at Museum fur Neue Kunst in Freiburg, Germany (2006); “Video Arts Festival” in Barcelona, Spain (2006-05); “Turning Point – Seven Iranian Artists” at Leroy Neumann Gallery in New York, USA (2004); “Beams of Blue” in Delhi, India and Rome, Italy (2004); “Seated Women” at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran (2002).

FARNIYAZ ZAKER
(1982, Tehran)

She works with different media while she tries to conceptualize the meaning of space and place in her practice. She is the winner of Birgid Skiold Memorial Trust Prize from International Print Biennial at Newcastle in 2011; and also in the same year she was awarded the Lamb and Flag Studentship from St. John’s College, University of Oxford.

She studied at the Art University of Tehran and obtained an MA from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton in UK. She is currently a DPhil student at Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts, University of Oxford. Her selected exhibitions include “International Print Biennale” at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK (2011); “Surplus to Requirements?” at Slade Gallery, London, UK (2011); “Art of Nurture” at Watershed Gallery, Bristol, UK (2009); “1st and 2nd Festivals on Iranian Sea Photography” in Tehran, Iran (2006-04). In the upcoming months, her works will be exhibited in the exhibition “In Site” at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (June, 2012) and “UKYA” at WEYA, Nottingham (September, 2012).

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