Visual Dialogues | The Book of Kings | Shirin Neshat & Fereydoun Ave | March 2019
Secret of Words
Mehran Mohajer & Sadegh Tirafkan
Total Arts Gallery at the Courtyard and Massoud Nader Present exhibition of Photography by Sadegh Tirafkan with support of Silk Road Gallery this exhibition is accompanied by photographs of Mehran Mohajer Sadegh Tirafkan is a persevering artist who navigates through time and culture in search of his place and identity as an Iranian man in the contemporary world. The medium of photography has become his main platform to construct powerful visual plays, using a combination of elements that he seasons sufficiently with symbolism.
The significance of symbolism throughout Tirafkan’s body of work comes from his Persian root in which direct dialogue is rarely used, but frequently replaced by symbolic languages. How do you inform a culture that has three thousand years of history, rich in tradition and essentially a homogenous and male dominated society? Tirafkan expresses his concerns through images of numerous self-portraits and portraits of friends. He once said, "I began photography by recording what surrounded me. Now I take what is around me in the studio and make it into what I see through the prism of my life and culture." Tirafkan poses himself and others in the studio time after time to explore the meaning of being a contemporary Iranian. Blending tradition, history and memory, he recreates visually compelling scenes that build visceral connection to his ancient country. And this is where the strength and beauty of Tirafkan's work lie.
In reinventing and revisiting Iranian tradition he is also criticizing and challenging his ancestors' long-standing authority. In spite the highly eloquent appearances; I see two hidden trends in his work, which the artist has perhaps introduced even without realizing it: a theatrical staging of all the historic drama of his country, all the painful events of which he experienced intensely, and a discreet journey towards a spirituality which emanates from his whole vision. Here, Tirafkan surreptitiously rejoins the mystical quest which remains, whether we like it or not, the key-stone of any metaphysical edifice of the Iranian world. Born in Iran in 1965, Tirafkan trained as a photographer at the University of Fine Arts in Tehran. Since the late 1990’s he has participated in numerous solo exhibitions and group shows, in Tehran, Paris and New York.
Tirafkan’s work offers an eloquent meditation on modern Iranian man’s relationship to his past and on his search for a meaningful identity in the present. Identity, history and memory have been central concerns in the work of non-western artists since the era of colonialism. Tirafkan, frequently using himself as a model, revisits and reinvents these themes in his series of enigmatic yet visually compelling photographs. He uses words and symbols to communicate with the audience and
Abstract & Lanscape
A. Mohseni was born in 1960, in Kermanshah west of Iran. He started painting with Master Rahim Navesi before moving to Tehran. He held his first one-man show in 1994 and has come a long way from his humble beginnings. Landscape, traditional life and nature were always his main subjects to paint and after moving to UAE he found this passion in the local scenery. T
his exhibition would be an exceptional one in Mohseni’s career since he is entering a new period after 10 years of professionally painting landscapes and still life witch is still the close to Mohseni’s heart in a different way. Mohseni has participated in more than 40 solo and group exhibitions in Iran including Tehran Contemporary Art Museum, Australia, Kuwait and the UAE. Mohseni has won a special award from Tehran Contemporary Art Museum as the best Artist of the year in 1996. Mohseni has published 2 books, which are: 1. Nature in the painting of Abdol Hossein Mohseni 2. Painting of Abdol Hossein Mohsenis He is working on two new books at present.
TOTAL ARTS GALLERY
at the Courtyard
Australian Aboriginal Art
Mary Brown, Ronnie Tjampitjimpa, Yalti Napaltjarri
and Auprrey Tjunjala George Tjunjarayae
Simultaneously with the opening of the Indigenous Art Museum in Paris, Total Arts at the Courtyard is hosting the exhibition of ‘Australian Aboriginal Artists’ Acrylic paintings by Central Australian Aboriginal people are one of the most exciting developments in modern Australian art. The paintings are mythical representations of landscapes or conceptual maps of designs wrought by ancestors. In this tradition, paintings, dances and songs relating to the dream time are repeating the work of ancestors, thus keeping the dreaming alive.
It is still in the tradition to represent many of the desert dreaming stories, and the sand paintings have been replaced by paintings on canvas. New styles like dot paintings and X-ray styles are the most popular modern art styles based on traditional dreaming and totemic representations. Symbols used within paintings include concentric circles, curved lines & straight lines. Concentric circles usually represent campsites, waterholes or places of significance. Curved lines generally represent rain or water traveling underground. Straight lines may be indicative of traveling & when these lines join concentric circles it may show the pathway traveled by the ancestors. A small "U" shaped figure may represent a person & depending on the iconography next to the person determines whether it is male or female. Dotted motifs & design work has become the trademark of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement.
Acrylic paintings are merely a new form incorporating the classic elements of Aboriginal life. They state a person's relationship to those around them, to the land and to the Dreaming. They also represent a new context of interaction between indigenous and western societies. Through modern art the Aboriginal people are able to introduce and express their culture to the world.
Biography of some of the artists participating in our exhibition:
George Tjunjarayae: Born near Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert, Western Australia and commenced painting in about 1976. He often depicts in his paintings specific sacred sites located in his ancestral country, which are associated with the Tingari cycle of creation dreaming stories. He was voted “the most collectable artist” by the magazine, Australian Art Collector.
Ronnie Tjampitjimpa: Born at Tjiturrunya in Western Australia and commenced painting in about 1975 after observed the Papunya painting movement. His art is a good representation of the characteristic Pintupi style: repetition of forms, which are geometric, simple and bold, and pigments which are often restricted to four basic colors of black, red, yellow and white. But Ronnie experiments with other colors as well.
About the Museum of Indigenous Art in Paris: In June 2006, on the other side of the Eiffel Tower, France will open its long-awaited museum of world indigenous art. Some specialists believe the Musée du Quai Branly will change the way the world looks at Aboriginal art. What is very important is that the Aboriginal painters will probably be the only living contemporary artists displayed in the museum. The museum will feature more than 300,000 art works and artifacts from Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas. But what makes Australia's contribution unique is that, at the request of architect Jean Nouvel, eight Aboriginal art works made especially for the museum will be embedded in its walls, ceilings and glass frontages. It is a mix of ancient and modern forms that will show that Aboriginal art is alive, both "ageless and contemporary".