Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came

Behrang Samadzadegan

“… Did not assume paradise to be a place that could be discovered. There were no maps that could lead a man to it, no instruments of navigation that could guide a man to its shores. Rather, its existence was immanent within man himself: the idea of a beyond he might someday create in the here and now. For utopia was nowhere—even… in its “word hood.” And if man could bring forth this dreamed-of place, it would only be by building it with his own two hands”.
Paul Auster, City of Glass.

Images claim to be versions of the truth. Yet, “the truth is singular, and its versions are mistruth.” How would images represent the experienced history that includes wisdom and ignorance? Also, how a virtual image could become the man’s quest to attain Utopia? To achieve this virtual ideal, how man responds to the experience of existence heavily loaded by memories? How we handle the dichotomy between the present and the past? And how we tackle the losses that are inevitable results of that distance?

In my continual project “Heading Utopia”, I follow the experience of human failure in situations that man has created himself and is committed to them; from being attached to romantic expectance to hope for evolution and betterment and to hope for change in society and politics. Likewise, being hopeful about art as a context for rightfulness and the truth.

The progress begins with a narrative, whether real or fictional. Thereupon, painting is a series of decision makings and control. There, my mind swings on the border between reality and fantasy. The painting emerges in between abstraction and representation, between real and unreal, and between different anthologies. The result is chaos in a state between seeing and not seeing and painting and non-painting.

Behrang Samadzadegan, “Accompanying Shirin on Her Way to Perish. (After Nezami Ganjavi)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Arches paper, 128.4 x 180.5 cm, frame size: 133 x 185.5 cm, 2021
Behrang Samadzadegan, “The Triumph of Death (After Palermo Fresco)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Arches paper, 128.4 x 180.5 cm, frame size: 133 x 185.5 cm, 2020
Behrang Samadzadegan, “Miracle of the Manna (After Tintoretto)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Arches paper, 129.5 x 208 cm, frame size: 134 x 213 cm, 2020
Behrang Samadzadegan, “In the Country of Last Things (After Paul Auster)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper, 138.5 x 215.5 cm, frame size: 143.5 x 220 cm, 2021
Behrang Samadzadegan, “In the Penal Colony (After Kafka)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Arches paper, 138 x 215.5 cm, frame size: 143 x 220 cm, 2021
Behrang Samadzadegan, “The Day After the Last Day (After Tintoretto)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came”, series, watercolor and pencil on Arches Cotton paper, 130 x 181 cm, frame size:
133.5 x 185.5 cm, 2021
Behrang Samadzadegan, “The Triumph of Death (After Pieter Bruegel)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Cotton paper, 130 x 180 cm, frame size: 134 x 185.5 cm, 2021
Behrang Samadzadegan,“Miracle of the Slave (After Tintoretto)”
From “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Cotton paper, 105 x 140 cm, frame size: 108.5 x 144 cm, 2021
Behrang Samadzadegan, “I’m Crazy Because I Love You No.1 (After Nezami Ganjavi)”, from “Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, watercolor on Cotton paper, Diptych, overall frame size: 145 x 210 cm
“Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, installation view, 2021
“Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, installation view, 2021
“Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, installation view, 2021
“Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, installation view, 2021
“Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, installation view, 2021
“Heading Utopia; Chapter 2: The Spring That Never Came” series, installation view, 2021