In Between: Contemporary Iranian Art (Part 1)

30 Apr — 26 Aug 2017 at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, United States


Art is the most intense form of individualism that the world has known.
(Oscar Wilde)

We have art, so that we may not perish by the truth.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

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 view- point 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.
(Shahram Karimi)

During the past decade or so, we have witnessed serious attention toward Iranian artists and their work. Through numerous international exhibitions and shows, Iranian art has established a strong and clear position in the art world. We therefore must begin to ask ourselves which distinctive characteristics contemporary Iranian art presents in relation to Iran’s ancient and abundant cultural heritage, and how artists living outside of Iran can contribute. The answer to these questions will lead us toward a descriptive understanding of the new Iranian cultural identity. In order to reach a valid answer we must strive to avoid the familiar clichés, and find a more judi- cious understanding of the visions of Iranian art.

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Wall Street International
May 13, 2017

Installation View of In Between: Contemporary Iranian Art (Part 1).