Mohsen Gallery is delighted to present works by five Iranian artists, Sara Abbasian Mehrdad Afsari, Mojtaba Amini, Gohar Dashti, and Behrang Samadzadegan as part of the inaugural edition of Teer Art | Tehran from June 26-30, 2018.
From Narrative to Catastrophe:
The basic quality of disintegrated, fragmented, and shattered elements on a blue surface, which was first used in the mid-nineteenth century, refers to a probable order before the inevitable chaos and destruction. Exploring the borders between humanity and nature, as well as the feminine consciousness and the body that it inhabits, clearly reveals the concerns of the artist and a strong feminine sensation. In her abstract series entitled “Still Life” in which there is no human subject and no ideal image of nature, Gohar Dashti seeks to recreate lost forms, make fragmented pieces cohere, and revive an obsolete form of representation.
In Mehrdad Afsari’s series, “Forty: A Treatise on Terrene Traverse,” the human subject is also omitted. However, in Afsari’s works, the viewer encounters a representation that is essentially different. Relying on the thoughts and ideas of Suhrawardi, the great Persian mystic, large-scale photos of natural landscapes leave the viewer on the border between a glorious presence and a concealed absence. Moreover, the artist uses the number “40” to refer to a “transition.” The age of forty denotes a border, after which something starts to change. It is the number of patience, preparation, and more significantly, beginning.
The tenderness of Mehrdad Afsari and Gohar Dashti’s photographic approach is the polar opposite of the rebellious, metamorphosed, and decadent human/animal figures of Sara Abbsian’s works in the times of war. “Epidemy” is the title of a series in which deliberate violence of humans in using disease vectors to attack their enemy is depicted as sickly, helpless, and wounded figures. Depicted individually or in groups, these damaged characters are naked and tangible metaphors of the consequences of war, however indirectly wounded and estranged they might be.
From Catastrophe to Incident:
As a matter of fact, when the catastrophe tends towards fantasy, they become void of collectiveness; it is a process through which the mind resorts to defamiliarization and moves towards human identity. In his work called “Occupation,” Behrang Samadzadegan begins his interoperation of Iranian history with fantasizing about the documents of Iranian political history and an imaginary journey towards his fictional utopia. He questions, struggles, destroys, and creates, not considering the unchangeable fate of watercolor as contradictory to events, surrendering, triumphs/defeats, and our bewilderments in history. When aesthetic games come alive, historical factors start to fade. The events intermingle, just like the interwoven nature of watercolor: events that are totally relevant to each other, and are constantly repeated in different times and various forms.
We are traveling all the time: from dystopia to utopia and vice versa. Whether it is painterly or on a metal, leather, or wooden saddle. In his work entitled “The Saddle,” Mojtaba Amini reminds us of exile, journey, death, and all things inevitable: leaving, passing through, and going away. Litters, palanquins, saddles, and Ghabits (a saddle for male camels, especially designed for Arab women), all signify “transition,” and what they have in common is the camels that make the transition possible. In Amini’s works, camels are always used as metaphors for journey, death, violence, and religion. For him, camel denotes death that chooses whoever it wishes. Imru’al-Qais, the Arab poet of the 6th century AD, says in a Qasida: “… and as our palanquin had become crooked, he told me: “Get off Imru’al-Qais, you are killing my camel!” I replied: “Loosen the bridle and let the camel wander wherever it wills.”