Of Being and Singing – Pavilion of the Islamic Republic of Iran at La Biennale di Venezia 2019
May 11 – November 24, 2019
“Of Being and Singing” is the exhibition presented by the Islamic Republic of Iran at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. “Of Being and Singing” is an exhibition commissioned by Hadi Mozaffari commissioner of the Visual Arts Affair Office and Mehdi Afzali, CEO of Institute of Contemporary Arts Developments and exhibiting works by Reza Lavassani, Samira Alikhanzadeh and Ali Meer Azimi. The exhibition opens to the press on May 8, 2019 and to the public on May 11, 2019 at Fondaco Marcello, a known space next to Rialto.
Based on 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, “May You Live in Interesting Times”, “Of Being and Singing” is an homage to life and to precious moments of the past, present and future. The exhibition carries a message of peace from the cultural and artistic scene of Iran, a message seldom relayed to the world by contemporary media. Representing Iran are three artists hailing from various disciplines who magnify the glory of being and time, identity and memory, reality and dreams. Challenging cliché notions of Iranian art as mostly composed of local elements and motifs, these artists represent the universal aspects of Iranian art through their artistic terminology. Tehran-born and based, Reza Lavassani (1962) practices on various media. He began working on the installation “Life” in 2012 and worked on the piece for more than three years. Through a deliberate choice of papier-mâché, the artist underlines the literal and symbolic significance of recycling. The piece is a lyric narrative of life’s splendor and glory and an emblematic visualization of the passage of time. The awe-inspiring presentation, executed in Lavansani’s signature aesthetic language, portrays the artist’s belief in recreation and the eternal cycle of life. “Life” focus on theatricality of sculpture and installation.
Samira Alikhanzadeh (1967) deals with memory with an eye on the future. Born and raised in Tehran, she holds a painting diploma from the University of Art but departed from painting after her first exhibition and turned to new media art, which she felt was representative of her own time. Using family photographs as raw material, her praxis is one of image manipulation to explore ideas of identity and memory. Alikhanzadeh cuts out faces and portraits from their original photographic backgrounds and places them on a mesh, guiding viewers from observation of a photograph to construction of a visual narrative. Ali Meer Azimi (1984) lives and works in Esfahan. Azimi draws inspiration from cinema, philosophy and visual arts and creates deeply narrative pieces, shifting and experimenting with different disciplines in the process. Working on the idea of “shot”, “reverse shot” and “reversal of depth” and connecting these concepts with language disorders and dreams, his interactive installation is based on a comparative analysis of phonemic language acquisition between children and pre-puberty finches.