Iranian artist collective on show for first time in Germany | Arts | DW | 03.09.2020
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Arts

Iranian artist collective on show for first time in Germany

Political and social conflicts are the focus of the trio Ramin Haer­izadeh, Rokni Haer­izadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, whose exhibition opens in Frankfurt.

Large-scale installations, films, collages, sculptures and a huge floor painting: Curator Martina Weinhart has long looked forward to the first solo exhibition in Germany by the brothers Ramin and Rokni Haer­izadeh and their friend and colleague, Hesam Rahmanian. The original plan for an opening four months ago was thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic, but now the Schirn Kunsthalle museum in Frankfurt can finally showcase the Iranian trio's works.

A monumental painting created especially for this exhibition stretches across the Kunsthalle floor; strange figures, a blend of human and animal, populate a cosmos full of images, symbols and memories.

Painting 'O You People!' by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian

Strange figures populate the imagery of Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian

The artists draw inspiration from their biographies mixed with political impressions and the background of a rich Persian culture. "The result is a walk-in floor work, a huge essay with many references," curator Martina Weinhart told DW. Sculp­tures, texts, photographs, sound and videos round it off.

Artists' studio in Dubai is a 'cabinet of curiosity'

The artist trio's work revolves around the crises in the Middle East, the conditions in Iran, exile and migration, gender issues and the mechanisms of the art market.

The three artists have lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates for years. Their mansion on Dubai's Al Barsha Street "is an extraordinary villa full of things, but it is also a stage, a film set and movie theater. It is their studio and a cabinet of curiosity," the Kunsthalle Zürich wrote five years ago on the occasion of the artists' first show in Europe.

It is "a test site-cum-monastery, an academy-cum-pleasure dome" where the trio lives and works as a loosely-knit artist collective, sometimes together, sometimes on separate projects and often in cooperation with other artists.

The Schirn exhibition, for instance, also shows two textile sculptures by the Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol.

Painting 'If I Had Two Paths I Would Choose The Third' by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian

The artists often come up with humorous titles for their works, such as this one: 'If I Had Two Paths I Would Choose The Third'

Coronavirus regulations made shipment challenging

The three artists sent Weinhart a creative response to their postponed exhibition, a self-produced video whose protagonist is the passing of time. The camera slowly wanders around tables with emerging works of art, prepared food, pots of paint and photos. A voice declaims the days of the week: "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ..."

Due to constantly changing regulations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, transportation by ship and rail from Dubai to Frankfurt proved to be a logistical challenge, Weinhart said. And because of the current restrictions, the artist trio was not able to travel to Germany for their exhibition either.

Their works, filled with poetry, speak for themselves. "Expect to be amazed!" Weinhart said.

 

The exhibition "Ramin Haer­izadeh, Rokni Haer­izadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian" runs at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt from September 3 - December 13, 2020.

 

Adapted by: Dagmar Breitenbach