A Note on "Siyâvash's Teardrop" Exhibition by Shabahang Tayyari19 Jul 2022
In computer games industry, there is a framework called Game Engine which provides various tools for developing games. These tools include graphics, sounds, logic, and physics rules with which game developers can design different parts of a game in an interconnected structure. For Shabahang Tayyari, the process of creating an image is very similar to the process of creating a computer game. He gathers different ideas, forms, relations, and rules - based on either his own experiences or others' - and uses them as a structure to create his images. In a sense, like a game developer, Tayyari has built his game engine and is now busy creating his games. However, there is a fundamental difference here; his games are paintings, and his game engine is actually a conceptual framework with which viewers should equip themselves in order to understand his works.
"Siyâvash's Teardrop", Tayyari's recent exhibition at Balice Hertling, included a series of abstract images about the afterlife for Siyavash, which has been represented as an empty, dark world filled with pearls, tulips, flames, waves, and borders. He has mixed patterns of waves and flames to the extent that they are hardly visible. In Tayyari's world, everything is treated the same way, while they do not become the same, and everything should be mixed, but not tainted by each other. Tulips, which witnessed Siyavash being subjected to the world's injustice, are present anywhere in Tayyari's paintings; sometimes appear upside down as if they are very sad, sometimes their petals detached and dispersed, and sometimes form arcs as pillars of this devastated world. Like tulips, black pearls exist everywhere; sometimes as a hidden treasure, sometimes as tulips' tears, and sometimes as windows to another world! Silver, glossy borders are drawn with a graffiti pencil between the shapes in order to confine them to their limits. There are cuttings of DVDs glued to nearly all of the paintings, most of which are placed on the tulips' petals as if they contain what tulips have witnessed. The DVDs include some strange content in different formats like photos, videos, and texts which are sometimes meaningless and irrelevant, and sometimes meaningful and mysterious. Tayyari uses the titles of his artworks to make the viewer become aware of such contents, which reveal the relation of the artist's pictorial world and its historical references with his own life and his imagination of the real world. They also present a somewhat pessimistic attitude, which considers the world's nature as dark and degenerating ever since it was created.
Cover images (courtesy of Balice Hertling Gallery):
1. Shabahang Tayyari | An upside-down tulip with black pearl and the pearl's grey shadow. Digital Video Disc contains hundreds of pictures taken from a cathedral entrance arch on fire and the reflection of flames on the cathedral's rose windows. | 2021 | gouache, pen and DVD collage on paper | 31 × 41
2. Shabahang Tayyari | A black tulip and a black pearl beside a lying down tulip with three black stigmas. Digital Video Disc contains an image of the artist sitting down in his studio thinking about the past he was not even born, thinking about the future when he is not gonna exist. | 2021 | gouache, pen and DVD collage on paper | 31 × 41
3. Shabahang Tayyari | Upside down fallen tulips and one black pearl. Digital Video Disc contains 47 MB of 1087 pieces of notes, 4 KB each, all the same. The note is part of a poem by Mahmoud Darwish and a jpg file picture of the poet in his youth. | 2021 | gouache, pen and DVD collage on paper | 31 × 41
4. Shabahang Tayyari | An angelless arc. Digital Video Disc contains 342 MB of puppies jpg taken by their owners in front of Notre Dame entrance. | 2021 | gouache, pen and DVD collage on paper | 31 × 41
5. Shabahang Tayyari | Black and yellow pearl as velvet tulips stigmas. Digital Video Disc contains 360 MB of a video recorded by my friend England showing a cathedral burning to the ground. | 2021 | gouache, pen and DVD collage on paper | 31 × 41
6. Shabahang Tayyari | Black Pearl Sunrise. Digital Video Disc contains 630 MB of my High School photos all jpg and private information about the life of my math teacher and his wife. | 2021 | gouache, pen and DVD collage on paper | 31 × 41