News ID: 167882
Published: 0720 GMT August 30, 2016

Austrian, Iranian artists set new dialogue in visual arts exchange

Austrian, Iranian artists set new dialogue in visual arts exchange

By Soumaya Saikali

17 Austrian artists together with 14 of their Iranian counterparts are offering contemporary visual creations in two displays, disclosed the head of the Lajevardi Foundation in an exclusive interview.

The exhibitions are set at the Galerie Forum in Vels together with the current show at Vienna's Artmark Galerie, added Ehsan Lajevardi.

"This unique exhibition will be displayed at the Lajevardi Foundation in Tehran this September, before reaching Isfahan where a wider Iranian audience will have access to the exhibition which will be held at the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Arts this autumn," he added.

'LTR:RTL', curated by Tarlan Rafiee and Yashar Samimi Mofakham, is an exhibition that is brought about by the 'Bread and Salt Curatorial' projects and c/o:K.

Also referred to as 'Back and Forth', this new artistic collaboration allows viewers, art collectors together with notable critiques and art connoisseurs with an exceptional opportunity to assess the true meaning of art and expression as revealed and manifested through the mental and creative outputs of all involved.

With the exception of Peter Assmann, whose photograph of two pajama-clad children's clothing mannequins shot in Shiraz during an earlier visit to Iran, all remaining 16 Austrian artists works have no direct relevance with our Iranian culture, though much of their contribution bear vast impact on the scrutiny normally absorbing a highly intellectual and conscious artist discovering new perceptions and medias that force a totally new interpretation and outlook to art versus community.

As to the Iranian artists, whose works were chosen for this exhibition, much may be said in credit for all participants since works though much varied in style, motive and material appear to evolve around new territories by which elementary or perplex facets of contemporary and modern artistic measures and expressions are sealed.

Christine and Joseph Bauer, Herbert Egger, Thomas Enzenhofer, Ursula Guttmann, Markus Anton Huber, Walter Kainz, Marion Killanowitsch, Maria Meusburger-Schaefer, Josef Ramaseder, Wolfgang Maria Reiter, Markus Riebe, Eckart Sonnleitner, Erich Spindler, Isa Stein and Andreas Strohhammer are well-established Austrian artists in this project.

While Golnaz Taheri, Yashar Samimi-Mofakham, Tarlan Rafiee, Farnaz Rabiejah, Farrokh Mahdavi, Sahand Hesamiyan, Narguess Hashemi, Behnaz Qassemi, Saeed Ensafi, Ala Ebtekar, Mazdak Ayari, Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Reza Aramesh, Mojtaba Amini, Samira Alikhanzadeh bravely take up the stage to bring international focus on modern wave of Iranian artistic perceptions.

Programming such a huge undertaking has taken months of work with over a hundred top experts and galleries and museum together with specialized  curators and cultural diplomats collaborating closely to achieved such a precious goal, further added Lajevardi, who himself has an MA in Fine Arts from the London Victoria and Albert Institution, is already a great pioneer to promote Iranian contemporary art.

The Lajevardi Foundation, which was established in 2005 as a non-profit organization in Tehran, may be a family business to the serious minded director who meticulously runs affairs be it promoting visual arts, editing publications and sponsoring top exhibitions in its goal to expand cultural events at national and international levels.

Currently the Lajevardi premises holds the exhibition  by top German artist Günther Uecker, who visited Shiraz during April this year, since his works inspired by the poems of Iranian 13 century Poet Hafez were offered on display and inaugurated by top German and Iranian officials.

Lajevardi explains that the 85-year-old artist was so attracted to Hafez that he actually made some of the works with the soil taken from Shiraz, and poems by Hafez inscribed in both German and Persian on each panel.  The inauguration ceremony was also marked by the introduction of a book on Uecker's works, published by the Lajevardi Foundation.

September hosting the 'RTL:LTR' exhibition promises to be most enhancing. According to the catalogue: 'Bread and Salt' is a project based on an old Iranian concept — which also exists in many other cultures. 'Bread and Salt' is the least thing offered to guests so as to pave the way for lasting friendship.

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