In Between (Part II): So Far
October 15, 2017–March 30, 2018
"Art is the most intense form of individualism that the world has known."
"We possess art lest we perish of the truth."
"What Nietzsche means by truth is the mordant logic of everyday life: a banal world of work and suffering. The world of the living, according to Nietzsche, is a world filled with horror and fear. Art, by contrast, is a refuge capable of redeeming life with its beauty. In distinguishing between the truth of living and the art of living, Nietzsche posits the aesthetic or artistic viewpoint as an alternative to logic. In other words, what makes life tolerable—with all its suffering—is the ability to interpret it artistically. Beauty thus conceived remains outside the ken of mere rational faculties."
Over the course of several years, Iranian cinema has established its own unique and relevant voice on the global stage. Compared to cinema, however, Iran has yet to develop an established history of video art, and the genre is still a new phenomenon for Iranian artists—only recently emerging in the ’90s. It was during this time that Shirin Neshat, an Iranian-born artist, successfully straddled two cultures and received world recognition for her video, film, and photography. Examining the trajectory of Iranian video art, the main question posed in this exhibition asks: What is the nature of Iranian contemporary video art as it has developed in the new millennium?
In Between (Part II): So Far seeks to recognize six women working to shape Iran’s canon of video art. This exhibition is a product of focused research on artists who use video to demonstrate a concrete artistic individuality, and further introduce character that is independent from cinema and other art genres.
The show is the second part of an exhibition series of contemporary Iranian art curated by Shahram Karimi. The first exhibition of this two-part series, In Between: Contemporary Iranian Art (Part I) was on view at Mana Contemporary from August 30–September 8, 2017, which featured artists whose work is not culturally explicit, but conjures cross-cultural themes. In Between (Part II): So Far adopts a similar approach, yet with a focus on a ten-year span of video art (2006–16). The exhibition offers six video works by six women that together serve to illuminate patterns, changes, and developments in Iranian contemporary video art.