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"Immediate and Remote" at Aaran Projects

Author : Amir Esfandiari

Reading Time : 4 Minutes

Original text in Farsi by Amir Esfandiari

Translated to English by Sara Faezypour

Aaran Projects, in collaboration with the New Media Society, hosted the group show "Immediate and Remote", curated by Amirali Ghasemi in December and January 2021. "Immediate and Remote" is an exhibition represented by "HerMap Art Projects", formed in a multimedia collection by several artists who have gathered from Iran and some European countries. Amirali Ghasemi has already displayed research-oriented and multimedia collections in sometimes similar formats. He started his career as a curator and multimedia artist in the late 70s, expanding it by establishing Parkingallery and, later, New Media Society. In August 2021, Ghasemi presented "Arbitrary Lines" projects at the Aaran projects' space.

Installation view of "Immediate and Remote" show at Aaran Projects

In the catalog of this show, "HerMap Art Projects" is introduced as a residency, research, and art program between Iran and Europe created as a platform for the interaction between selected art projects and artists and residents of the intended heritage geography. This residency-research program was inaugurated with a call in 2018 but went through changes due to the spread of problems caused by the Covid Pandemic, turning into an online program. This project was made available to the public in 2021 with the unveiling of its online platform. "Immediate and Remote", which is the first fruitful group show of this project after its ups and downs, is the outcome of the association of twelve artists and their works, making up the collection. Abel Korinski and Orhan Kavrakoglu, Alice Pedroletti, Andrea Familari, Aron Rossman-Kiss, Arya Arabshahi, Love Di Marco, Ehsan Hemat, Goda Palekaitė, Sina Seifee, Saba Ghorbanalinejad, and Timothée Gauvin are the artists of this exhibition, who in collaboration with other people in this project, have arranged the "Immediate and Remote" show.

Above all, the "Immediate and Remote" exhibition addresses geography and its cultural topics. The Ray Cement Factory, consisting of a vast and abandoned space, is the central part of the show and is clearly domineering. "Immediate and Remote" comprises extensive research aspects in which the role of the artist is defined every moment in the interplay with the researcher and the authors of this collection. This project has been shaped and documented through investigating archives and making field visits. Meanwhile, the confrontation of the artists with the geography of the destination has become a source of attention as well as a consideration beyond the main issue of the factory so that in some projects, artists have moved away from the main space and have examined and taken notice of other issues. The works of the "Immediate and Remote" show have been staged in a wide range of media, including photo videos, interviews, sound and image installations, video games, performances, etc. This free encounter has provided the artists with different possibilities in how they demonstrate their approaches to the problem.

Saba Ghorbanalinejad | Stories of Displacements

The works have acquired different positions according to their media potentials and needs, and the arrangement of the works at the Aaran Projects' space reveals itself at the entrance from the very beginning. For example, the interactive story-game presented under the title "Dustgift" can be experienced by a user in a specific space with a computer and monitor, and simultaneously displayed to the public by a projector; or in another project, the created videos are screened on big old televisions. The comprehensive timeline of the Ray Cement Factory, built by Bahar Ahmadifard and 1001 Architecture, take up an entire wall while other videos and interviews can also be experienced and heard. In addition, the outdoor space of Aaran Projects has been employed to exhibit works. The "Tehran of Trees" performance was showcased on 3 specific days of this project, containing a long text in combination with images and sound. Naghmeh Manavi was the performer of "Tehran of Trees". Among other works and projects of this collection, we can refer to the interactive work, "u-form", in which sound and objects are implemented to represent a visual perspective of Iran. In this project, the audience can access a specific website by scanning a code and have the opportunity to be involved in its development.

The "Immediate and Remote" show attempts to congregate the scopes of environmentalism, attention to ethnic groups, local politics, and industrial and cultural heritage through different and diverse media, ranging from video games to the biology of vegetation and plants. The artists of this collection resemble stems: by extending their research and artistic work around a subject, they grow and encompass other aspects, having an open and free approach when facing a problem.

The "Immediate and Remote" collection is an effort to build a process-oriented collection that is constantly in communication with the gateway of its formation. It is to be seen what topics and issues will be added in the continuation of this project, which is an exhibition of HerMap Art Projects.