Sideways in Tehran


25 Oct 2008
5 Nov 2008

How does a shift in the context of a piece of art influence its ability to be recognized and the validity of the work? How can art be judged from another culture? Is quality universal?

These questions are the starting point of the project Sideways.

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with works and contributions from:

Bassam Chekhes
Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi
Katrin Korfmann
Sara Blokland
Nickel van Duijvenboden
Tina Rahimy

The exhibition is organized & curated by Amirali Ghasemi

Sideways project is a project by Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi Artist/Filmmaker Intendant for Cultural Diversity, Sideways started in 2007 and will be finalized by presenting a book and an exhibition in the Netherlands in 2009.

Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi / Visual Artist-Film Maker
asked 5 artist and writers to research this questions and produce an artwork to be presented in two different exhibitions one in Tehran and one in the Netherlands and finalized with a Publication(book). Sideways in Tehran will literary be replacing the context.
Bandeh being part of a minority group with a non-western background in the Netherlands often questioned the comprehensibility of her work by the western audience not familiar with her cultural history. Now she will reverse the process by exhibiting works of a group of artist in the context which is familiar to Bandeh but not to them. In this she hope to find out a more objective approach through her own experience but also through the experiences by participants of Sideways.

Katrin Korfmann / visual artist, living in Amsterdam, NL
Katrin Korfmann is analyzing the often-quoted ´magic moment´ of photography. Or we could say she plays with it. The time factor of the ´magic moment´ is stretched, deconstructed, duplicated and subsequently assembled.She observes places of daily life, humans and machines, stages of public space.
Finally the space and the experienced time at the location is documented en coded again to a location never experienced like this. The image is document and invention at the same time.
For the project sideways Korfmann relates to her hometown West-Berlin (Germany) and the change of the city since the wall came down. The photograph fast forward (Checkpoint Charlie) 145 x 253 cm is showing a crossing point between former East and West Berlin. 20 years after the cold war this spot is one of the most demanded tourist attractions of the city. Fake American and Russian soldiers play theatre there. They sell visas with stamps and are bargaining over original gasmasks and GDR flags.
For money one can pose with the soldier to get the most wanted holiday snapshot.
The monument of the cold war becomes a funny game. A busy movement, a film set, where visitors try to catch the spectacular moments of German history.

Nickel van Duijvenboden Photographer/writer
turned from photography to writing and is operating in the grey area between visual art and literature. He uses his experiences as a former member of a punk band as a point of departure for a short fiction — punk being a highly idealistic, non-conformist subculture which is supposedly Western (or is it?). In Teheran, he will combine photographs with a text about one particular aspect of his experiences.

Sara Blokland / visual artist
Her works often explores the representation of the concept of family, exploring the confusion and ambiguity between the personal and impersonal. As a artist she interested in deconstructing the exotic subject, and reconstructing new ones. Her photographic images challenge the exotic presumptions of the dominant culture. How is the exotic part of the representation of the Western artist in the search for a 'original view' and understanding the subject... In two short films Brother and Roos, she will reflect on photography as a 'exotic' object and incorporating the personal experience of one viewer and photographer.

Bassam Chekhes (Syria, 1965) Film Maker
graduated from audiovisual department at the Rietveld Academy and mainly is making short films.The subjects of his films are related to his personal surrounding and have a direct contact with his own experience, as if they are a dairy or a biography.He prefers to work with different images as the starting elements for his films rather than text or a complete script, and to experiment the relation between the subject of the film and the related form that finally get.

Tina Rahimy philosopher researching at Erasmus university Rotterdam
Her research will focus on the choice of literature as a form of expression. Why do strangers, like refugees choose to write, why do they choose language of the host country? Language, the most demanding element, the crown witness of our alienation, not only in its content but also in its form. Do these writers however believe in the deficiency of their speech, or rather acknowledge the hesitation in and of a language as and characteristic element of any speech?

Sideways is sponsored by the Netherlands Visual Arts, Architecture & Design fund (Fonds BKVB)

Poster is designed by Behrad Javanbakht for Parkingallery Studio