BEYOND THE EXHIBIT I.
CONTEXTUALISING EMERGING
IRANIAN ARTISTS

Curated by: Shahram Entekhabi und Asieh Salimian (Factory TT Berlin/Teheran)

Shaghayegh Ahmadinan, Negar (Zahra) Alemzade Gorji, Mustafa Choobtrash, Negar Ghiamat, Fahime Haghighi, Sara Hosseini Sefiddashti, Mehrdad Jafari, Alireza Nekouei, Roohangiz Safarinezhad, Rene Saheb, Farzin Shadmehr, Shahryar Rezaei

The starting point for Beyond the Exhibit I is the observation the lack of an institutional system for contemporary art in Iran, the lack of international exchange and the shortcomings in the field of education. If originally the few, more underground-based, off-market galleries were oriented towards an alternative-experimental understanding of art, today a gallery system based on economic speculation and plagiarism has emerged - also under the influence of the buyers from the Arab Emirates and Western art agents and the decorative in the foreground. This created a single market that has little in common with the value of an international art community.

The artistic work, which deals with real social problems and gives art a social relationship, has almost been abandoned in the big Iranian cities under the influence of the decades-long embargo and the subsequent domestic destabilization. All forms of art relatedness have been lost abandoned the influence of a decades-long embargo and a domestic political destabilization. The Contemporary art in Iran often seeks its cultural identity in past dynasties and historical processes from before the Islamic Revolution. The present and the future, topics such as the work-up of the Iran-Iraq war or the real living conditions in an Islamic republic, are hard to find in this search for identity. In contrast, the image of Iranian art in the West is left to a few Western curators who, for the most part, detach a few contemporary works from a limited gallery system. By these observations, Factory TT Berlin/Tehran set itself the task of becoming agents of another Iranian contemporary art.

The exhibition project Beyond the Exhibit I. Contextualizing Emerging Iranian Artists introduces young Iranian artists born after the Islamic Revolution of 1978/1979. All participants have completed a university and try to work as full-time artists. Most came to Tehran from other cities; six participants live elsewhere: in Karaj, Kerman and Isfahan. In the selection of the artists less their exhibition biography played a role, but rather the presence of a socialization in their works. The title of the exhibition indicates that the project goes beyond the mere presentation of artistic works. All exhibition contributions are accompanied by interviews with the participants, initiated, directed and filmed by the artist Shahram Entekhabi. These video clips shed light on the respective artistic career, the social position of the artist, the conditions of production and their theme world. Beyond the Exhibit is planned as a continuous series of exhibition projects in various locations in Germany and abroad.

Shaghayegh Ahmadian from northern Iran criticizes the formal and subject canon of the country's academic training company. After her law studies Negar (Zahra) Alemzade Gorji turned exclusively to art and questioned stereotypical gender roles. Mustafa Choobtarash from Dezful on the Persian Gulf is working on the effects of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. Negar Ghiamat addresses the vulnerability of man and nature. Fahimeh Haghighi lives in Isfahan and works as a teacher with marginalized children on the margins of society, to whom she gives a face in her painting. Sarah Hosseini Sefiddashti from Isfahan's photorealistic paintings deals with the situation of women in public places, especially with a large number of acid attacks in Isfahan and their psycho-social impact on society. Mehrdad Jafari focuses on his drawings and installations decision-making processes about migration. In his spatial experiments in the medium of painting, Alireza Nekouei deals with isolation and exclusion in society. Roohangiz Safarinezhade leads a consumer-critical discourse and addresses the impact of industrial society on the environment. A frequent topic of Rene Saheb are formulas of communication and language barriers. The photographic works of Farzin Shadmehr show women beyond traditional role models: athletes and the disabled. Shahryar Rezaei from the desert town of Kerman works on the subject of rural migration and migration.

Factory TT Berlin/Tehran was initiated 2016 by Shahram Entekhabi and Asieh Salimian as an art education platform. After a series of actions, performances and workshops in various locations in Iran, Factory TT Tehran/Berlin 2017 realized the large exhibition project Copy/Paste with 13 international artists in Tehran and Isfahan in 2017. In the same year factory, TT Berlin/Tehran accomplished the first art festival Tabdil/Tolid (Farsi for „to convert“, „to generate“) in the public space of the city of Ardabil in Northwestern Iran. The project focuses on the aspects of ecology and sustainability and what has been achieved with the participation of local artists and the public in cooperation with the National Environmental Authority.