THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice (group show)
To coincide with the 58th Venice Biennale
Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia, Venice
9 May - 23 November 2019
In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present, through a prism of classical Persian poetry, an exhibition of works by nine contemporary Iranian artists at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia from 9 May to 23 November 2019.
Curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parasol unit, London, THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition has at its heart the need to develop mutual respect and understanding between different nations and cultures. Fittingly, this exhibition coincides with the 200th anniversary of West-oestlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan), 1819, a book of lyrical poems written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in homage to the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafez.
The nine artists, all of whose vision looks beyond the ordinary, were selected for the affinity with openness, respect and human interconnectedness that is evinced in their work. Stemming directly from a long and magnificent tradition of Persian poetry, this philosophy of life is a fundamental element of the Iranian/Persian character. Dialogues open up across the exhibition, not only between the different generations of artists and the geographical regions from which they now draw inspiration, but also through a common desire to interact openly and respectfully with others. And, just as Goethe through his poetry sought to bridge East and West, these artists too seek to communicate mutually across all borders.
THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition of paintings, sculptures, installations, multi-media and film brings together Iranian artists of different ages, who now live and work either in or outside of Iran. Having had a similar early education and grounding in classical Persian poetry they have all benefited from thought processes that are rooted in concepts such as the use of metaphor, openness, dialogue and figurative thinking. Shown together, their works create a sense of exchange that is felt in many ways across and beyond the exhibition, not only between the art works but also in the desire of the artists to communicate with thinkers from other cultures, and finally between art and music.
Venice, with its renowned history of being central to so many connections between East and West, is an ideal setting for The Spark is You exhibition. Presented at the Conservatorio di Musica in Venice, visual art and music interact harmoniously, a reminder that different art forms are all part of a single discourse. Each artist presents their work in a separate room or an outdoor courtyard, which allows ample mental space for viewers to reflect on the exhibition and create their own dialogue with and between the works.
THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition highlights the vital importance of open dialogue in the development of greater understanding between all nations. Particularly in the tumultuous and uncertain times of today, this exhibition is timely and informative in ways that we hope will further engender curiosity, understanding and appreciation of other cultures and stimulate more conversations.
Hocus Focus (solo show)
Marta Herford Museum, Herford
26 January – 26 April 2020
The Iranian artist, Navid Nuur (born 1976 in Teheran, lives in Den Haag) engages in his work with fundamental questions of perception. He makes the invisible visible, and hones the consciousness for the small, nondescript things and processes in the world.
This exhibition is the first extensive presentation by the artist in Germany since 2009, and also includes some new productions. His paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, text works and installations can be experienced as humorous and at the same time thought-provoking commentary and reflection of reality. With a playful wink of the eye and philosophical sophistication, the individual exhibition is aimed at guests of all age groups who want to join this artistic “materials researcher” on his quest to see the world with different eyes.
Marta Herford Museum, Herford
Navid Nuur et al.
Fragile Frontiers (group show)
YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku
22 November 2019 – 16 February 2020
YARAT announces the group exhibition "Fragile Frontiers", running from 22 November 2019 – 16 February 2020, presenting newly commissioned as well as recent works of 16 artists who view frontiers as precarious, ephemeral or frictional, arguing that no border – whether cultural, territorial or psychological – is completely durable. Examining the dilemma of borders within the Iranian context, alongside its neighbouring nations, the show raises questions about political identity as well as internal, interpersonal and international boundaries.
The exhibition’s title is taken from the essay "Fragile Frontiers: The Diminishing Domains of Qajar Iran" by Iranian Professor Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, which outlines two types of frontier: literal, physical separation, and metaphorical, ‘cultural’ boundaries. The exhibition at YARAT sheds light on non-violent divisions between cultures– demarcations that nevertheless disrupt constructive dialogue, uproot collective consciousness and negate common history, faith and culture.
The exhibition is curated by Farah Piriye and Anna Fech.
YARAT Contemporary Art Space