12th Annual of Persbook’s Contemporary Art


12th Curatorial Project

By Neda Darzi & Reza Monjezi

22 Oct -21 Dec 2023

The Annual of Persbook Contemporary Art issues their public statement about their 12th event for the purpose of contemporary artists’ synergy, among the awareness of Iran society’s present conditions, and also for the long-term aims starting from the previous events concerning Iran’s ecology and society.

The Perspective:

Persbook intends to play role in the meaning creation at the time the concepts such as lack and absence are inevitably felt in all life levels of humans. Also, in honor of Iran’s current civil movements and for constructing a modern sociocultural system, we hope to take actions for demonstratingneeds of artists’ community or displaying Iran’s contemporary art. In the previous annual events of Persbook Contemporary Art, the participative trends, artistic coordination, women’s handicrafts, environmental art, site-specifity, and decentralization have attentively achieved superior status. On the other hand, what is in attentiveness and under scrutiny in the contemporary and present Iran more than ever is artivism with distinct readings in the context of contemporary art and social art. This art sometimes called useful attempts sometimes to represent achievements -however modest and tangible- and to take a type of functionalism into consideration of artistic discourse. It could be displayed more in the public art too, generally being an observable and accessible art in the public space (or for people). Indeed, this art pursues influence of the visual matter on general discourse. It can be utilized in the fixed elements of urban places or old buildings’ construction. Also, it can become a non-stationary project like as artistic decorations and events and body art. Therefore, the artists having environmental and social concerns can broadly enjoy participation of citizens and coordination of artists outside of galleries and museums. Since the perspective has been primarily moved away from the ultimate product (the artistic reification) in the art to work creation process, artist attendance among participants has been viewed as a significant determinant, contributing to universal training and awareness of environmental warnings and cultural functions. We attempt to pursue artivism  through interpersonal relations for representing a kind of social aesthetics.

For the purpose of creating an interactive context and with regard to social changes and developments, the following questions are crucial:

  • How can we narrate our time fornext generations through activism and culturization?;
  • How can an artist (or critics) broadly influence avoidance or recreation of a situation?; and
  • What is the duty of artist on the current social changes from an activism perspective?

12th annual of Persbook provides a dialectic forum for artists’ viewpoint about above questions.

The 12th annual was inspired by one of previous projects. That was an expectant indication of a recreating evolution at the base of convergence and comradeship among Iranian artists’ community. Blood Vessel project was carried out with cooperation of artists and curatorship of Neda Darzi and Persbook in 2017. That environmental project was a metaphor of a flowing artery throbbing on the desert’s dry land by using fibers and the body of artists. There, the artists turned Blood Vessel into a site-specific, along a continuum and/or in the interaction with traditional adobe buildings. Now, apart from possible references to the other artistic creations in the present event, we are going to broadly continue this movement with the participation and coordination of artists, through site-specific art, and with the access of artists to their ecology. Studies of contemporary ecologist and environmental activist Suzanne Simard is a guidance to our event perspective. Her findings in Canada forests show spectacular results about distant communication of trees together. Simard narrates balanced and complicated social life of trees. Forest trees enjoy an underground network for exchange of information and energy and their close interactions begin through focal (hub) trees that usually have better access to sunlight and therefore can do much more photosynthesis and can produce glucose more than their need. Hub trees share water and nutrients through underground fungal networks and interconnected roots. Also, when a tree is threatened, it sends warning alerts to other trees and strongly influences them. This green symbiotic and constructive relationship between fungus and rootage can be viewed as a metaphor of blood vessel gathering artists from a society being influenced by fundamentalist and eerie happenings. it can contribute to the light opening or utter the loud cry of an artery.

First Part: Rootage

Contemporary artists have been ever pursuing fine arts recreation and derivation from the traditional art. Rootage in environment in the form of decoration or through the fabric art for getting closer to designs being similar to science and environment is the point of linkage between creativity  and female art. Also, use of recycled materials in fabric art offers a context for creation of temporary artistic and site-specific works in the environmental art. This broadness and rootage begin by examining and manipulating female acts and continue by expansion of new concepts in arts, social intersectionality, rootage of the human groups, and interpersonal interactions.

Second Part: Broad Body

We should know bodies are not the things we give meaning to. Rather, bodies are themselves the meaning. Can we regard the physical presentation of concepts and objectives through an artist body as the indication of their contemporary life information and message? Can the body become the inception of attributes such as wounded, distressing, and bulky? For the artist intervention in the discourse relating to these questions and apart from what the answers are and how they are answered, we hope this event becomes an opportunity for the related social and active relations. At the time of intervention in, confinement of, and domination on bodies, it is necessary to discuss the broad social body. When artists utilize their body due to their influence from environment and society, these kinds of approaches strengthen enthusiasm for collective propositions (beside the body individuality) i.e. protesting activist bodies together or away from each other, influenced by identical pains and events. In this regard, concepts such as artist’s body broadness from a phenomenological viewpoint in the contemporary art contribute to creation of ontological and philosophical works.

Research Group of 12th Event:

Pouria Jahanshad, Producing or living in art?: Some Pieces for Thinking

Reza Monjezi, An Essay on Art As Activism

Amin Ali Kurdi, Photography In Contemporary Art: A Non-aesthetic Matter or A concrete Record (documentation);

The Event Holding Method:

Works of artists have been produced with respect to site-specifity or the possibility of their access to their concerned ecology and place (outside of the gallery) and their related video clips, photos, and texts are shownin online platforms and media channels of Persbook’s Annual Contemporary Art. Digital catalogue of studies and works of artists attending 12th annual will also be on the release. The online talks to artists about the whatand the howof their works are of the other programs of Persbook’s Annual Contemporary art. The works can be sold after communication with artist, the project’s supporters, or independent buyers in the context of Persbook’s audience community interactions.

Video clips of artists were edited and prepared by Harf-e Honar. Graphic design of the event’s visual image was done by Mojtaba Shariati and graphic motion rests with Bita Amel.

Our  workshops in 2023 along with show of works for art students and audience are being held by cooperation of Dima Residency. These workshops can be a great help for identifying young talents by teaching contemporary art trends.

Artists of our 12th event are Ebrahim Advay, Ayda Alibakhsh, Najmeh Amini, Mojdeh Atrak,MansourehBaghgaraei, Ismail Ghanbari,Farzin Hedayatzadeh, Mahmoud Maktebi, Zahra Nikooray, Aniseh Salehnia, Sara Sasani, Nasrin Shahbeigi, HamidehSobhani, Zohreh Solati

دوازدهمین سالانه هنر معاصر پرسبوک«تـن- بـافی»

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