CAPITAL

CAPITAL
Arash Hanaei

2008 – 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of works:

 

Installation views

 

Capital Complex, MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, New York
2016

 

Unedited History, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Museum of Modern Art) Paris
2014

 

Unedited History, MAXXI Museum, Rome
2014

 

A selection of digital drawings from the series Capital
2008 – 2015

 

Including:”A Notebook for every Iranian”, “Digital”, “For sale”
2009

Billboards with following titles:
Up from left to right: Rasan skin cream (Born Again),
Iranian movie poster Vertigo, Black and Decker
Down from left to right: Mulinex forever (immortal),
Imen antivirus (how easy it is to kill), Beem home appliances
2009 – 2010

 

“Behesht Zahrâ”, anynmous martyrs’ section”
2013

 

“Behesht Zahrâ”
2008

 

Untitled
2009

 

 

 

“There is no friend and no protection more comforting than to ask for advice”, “Imam Ali
(Aleyheh-salam)
“I killed the Egyptian pharaoh” , * Khaled Islamboli ( Egyptian officer condemned to death for his
part in assassination of Anwar El Sadat in 1981; considered a martyr; sentence repeated in
Arabic) 2009

 

“There is no friend and no protection more comforting than to ask for advice”, “Imam Ali
(Aleyheh-salam)
“I killed the Egyptian pharaoh” , * Khaled Islamboli ( Egyptian officer condemned to death for his
part in assassination of Anwar El Sadat in 1981; considered a martyr; sentence repeated in
Arabic) 2009

 

 

“Imam Khomeiny(R H[Rahmat Allah Aleyh]) : Prisoners of war in the hands
of their enemies are songs of freedom and free spirits whisper these songs”.
2009

 

Bazar
2009

 

“Tabi’at Bridge literally (Nature Bridge)”,
2015

 

Billboard, “Pass the ball compatriot”
2015

 

Billboard, “Zwilling Germany”
2015

 

 

Capital Complex
MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38
April 24 – June 05, 2016

 

 

 

Arash Hanaei has been portraying the city of Tehran since 2008. His digital drawing series entitled Capital dissects its shifting pattern of streets and their inherent contradictions. Based upon his own documentary photographs, the artist interprets the capital city’s constant transformation and the chaotic superimposition of dissonant layers with formal austerity. Primarily black-and-white or greyish-green, the drawings reduce the original amount of information on the photographic image to a minimum and direct the viewer’s attention to the cultural and geopolitical underpinnings inscribed in the urban landscape.

 

Among other works, Capital Complex presents Hanaei’s history of advertising in Tehran’s public space narrated in two series, one featuring billboards and another one murals with war heroes and martyrs. After the Iranian Revolution and during the Iran-Iraq war, propaganda images took the place of advertisements for foreign products. Ever since the latter began making their way back into the cityscape, they have coexisted with the other, political images and texts, often displaying slogans with similar language. Hanaei’s visual alphabet of the dynamics of past and present in Tehran recounts a local history within its global context.

 

In Hanaei’s first solo exhibition in the United States, Tehran’s urban architecture merges with the display walls at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38. The visual works are presented alongside a new audio piece in which the artist reflects on a future project devoted to the capital city of Paris. By Nina Tabassomi

 

 

 

Capital
2009, Tehran, Iran
Currently Selected is a part of the article written by Homayoon Askari Sirizi

 

…The revelation of truth is only made possible through the negation of its outward reality but there are times when this trick, applied to depict contradictions, all the more shows the similarities marking the climax of his work.

In photos where a squirming crowd of people is shown, only the outlines distinguish people from objects. It is as if, indifferent to the representation of their multiplicity and individual identity, the photos reduce figures to lines depicting a neutral and homogenous mass. And to this mass every image and text on the walls of the city is a call, one that is sometimes encouraged by moral advices and political slogans and other times by heavy advertisement.

The juxtaposition of these texts and images, as depicted by Hanaei, gives an extraordinary view of the ideological organization of the city.

One of his photos, for instance, shows Khaled Eslamboli’s picture in a street bearing the same name, thus promoting and venerating martyrdom and the killing of Taghoot [the evil anti-Islamic forces] while another photo, an advertisement, speaks of ‘the easiness of killing’ in such a strange phrase that erases all the shame and obscenity attached to the verb.

Other graffiti in a different part of the city refer to the eternal life of martyrs while a famous brand alludes to the notion of rebirth, youthfulness and eternal beauty in advertising its products. The interesting fact is that the ad itself does not last more than one or two weeks and will soon be replaced by another with similar promises. What remains unchangeable, however, is the city’s call to rebirth, youthfulness and eternity.

From a different viewpoint, the overlapping of these pictures and texts, also reveal the essence of the city as a palimpsest*. While the city can be seen as a palimpsest when one considers its physical structure being built and rebuilt over and over again.

It is his reading of it that shows its labyrinthine quality influenced by the overlapping and superimposition of political, economical and social texts. It goes without saying that one can hardly find traces of the previous political text on the “capital” city fabric.

Today, Capital is a new writing on city’s texture, so bold and clear that it has effaced the slightest traces of older texts. His approach in selecting this narrative word amounts to the return of the idea of Capital to the physics and outlook of the city.

* Palimpsests were stone or metal tablets used for writing and rewriting in Ancient Greece before the invention of paper. In the works of Derrida, palimpsest is a metaphor of a text made difficult or impossible to understand due to the signs and traces remaining from previous texts written on it. From a different viewpoint, palimpsest can also be considered a metaphor for intertextuality and the interrelation of texts causing the apparently independent words and phrases to be woven together in a new texture creating a labyrinth of meaning.

Capital Complex, MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, New York
2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unedited History, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Museum of Modern Art) Paris
2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unedited History, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Museum of Modern Art) Paris
2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unedited History, MAXXI Museum, Rome
2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unedited History, MAXXI Museum, Rome
2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A Notebook for every Iranian”, “Digital”, “For sale”
2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billboards with following titles:
Up from left to right: Rasan skin cream (Born Again),
Iranian movie poster Vertigo, Black and Decker
Down from left to right: Mulinex forever (immortal),
Imen antivirus (how easy it is to kill), Beem home appliances
2009 – 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Behesht Zahrâ”, anynmous martyrs’ section”
2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Behesht Zahrâ”
2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled
2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There is no friend and no protection more comforting than to ask for advice”, “Imam Ali
(Aleyheh-salam)
“I killed the Egyptian pharaoh” , * Khaled Islamboli ( Egyptian officer condemned to death for his part in assassination of Anwar El Sadat in 1981; considered a martyr; sentence repeated in Arabic)
2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imam Khomeiny(R H[Rahmat Allah Aleyh]) : “Prisoners of war in the hands
of their enemies are songs of freedom and free spirits whisper these songs”.
2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bazar
2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Tabi’at Bridge literally (Nature Bridge)”,
2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landscape, North of Tehran from
2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billboard, “Pass the ball compatriot”
2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billboard, “Zwilling Germany”
2015

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *