• Aesthetics is Politics[taliem.ir]

    Aesthetics is Politics


    In the 2005 Venice Biennale, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were represented for the first time in a shared Central Asia pavilion that presented a curious and seductive group exhibition entitled ‘A  Contemporary Archive’. Several videos and installations included in the show conveyed a strange feeling of déjà vu, by reworking avant-garde forms of the 1970s and 1980s – Abramovic and Ulay’s Light/Dark  (1977), Kabakov’s domestic interiors of Soviet Russia – to make them espouse a search for political and ethnic identity initiated by these new post-soviet republics. The way these artistic forms travelled from the past to change meaning in the present raised the question of the displacement of ‘critical’ art in new contexts and beyond this, the exhibition begged the question of whether or not it was possible to perceive the art of these countries independently from their specific political context. Whether or not this was possible, could the works nonetheless be interpreted as political, even though the title of the exhibition evoked the more  restrained form of the archive? The interlacing of political motivations, re-use of avant-garde forms and use of the archive are the kind of question the French philosopher Jacques Rancière addresses in his recent book, Malaise dans l’esthétique. (Paris, 2004).

  • Art from East to West[taliem.ir]

    Art from East to West


    The Eastern sources of Western art have long been identified. Emile Mâle, Henri Focillon and Jean Baltrusaitis have traced back the major characteristics of this influence to their origins. They have explored the meanders of this river, which have been the feeding source of European art in the middle Ages and the fountainhead of its prosperity. Therefore, repeating it would be pointless here. Yet, how is it possible, in a collection dedicated to the investigation of the main aspects of Persian art, to not mention, at least through a few examples, this  phenomenon which has an astonishing expansion, originality and novelty? Western culture has greatly benefited from Iran’s influence in the domain of decorative arts. Persia acquired symbolic and decorative motifs from the most ancient civilizations, filtered and analyzed them, and then propagated them across the entire Mediterranean basin. Occasionally the rules and standards of the iconography developed on the Iranian Plateau reached north of the Alps indirectly, through bases such as Muslim dominated Constantinople, Sicily and Spain. According to Ghirshman,“ these passed through the same course which leads through Sumer and Babylon and Ninive to Achaemenian and Samanid Persia, and there from reaches the Byzantine Empire, Islam and Roman Europe.”

  • Cinema of the Future[taliem.ir]

    Cinema of the Future


    What course will cinema take in the future? This question involves at once technological, ontological and constructional aspects. It is a  question about the films themselves, their technical development, the ways in which they are shown, and even such things as movie theater buildings, projection screens and the viewers‟ opinions on the reality of images. The present article, however, delves into the characteristics of high-quality twenty-first century cinema, the emerging new spiritual horizons, and the dominant stylistic trends of intellectual cinema across the world. I am not at all concerned with commercial films filled with fanciful hallucinatory special effects; although today‟s fantastic adventures and juvenile sagas may well represent the technological reality of tomorrow‟s ordinary life. Nevertheless, even in this perspective, cinema still expresses only the surface of the capricious events of the human play. This article, on the other hand, is concerned with the evolutionary process that has defined and heightened the standards of profound, progressive art; the unique creative wisdom that has shaped the life of the public at large.

  • Eastern Theatre,Western Theatre[taliem.ir}

    Eastern Theatre,Western Theatre


    In the East, a play is a narrative performance. For an Eastern performer, it is natural for him to play the role of someone else or demonstrate something other than the self. With the help of the allusion and exaggeration inherent in the art of acting, and by distancing oneself from the role, the actor thereby easily makes the character palpable. Contemporary European theater, by understanding and analyzing these very  aspects of acting, on the one hand has helped originate the idea of “role distancing,” and on the other, it has become the foundation of “ritual theater.” However in both Western and Eastern theater, neither “role distancing” nor “ritual” are the sought after goals, but rather the  inherent and natural dialect of theater. It therefore follows that although the feelings portrayed are real, the roles are not so, and it is normal for the actors not to become the characters they portray. They do not pronounce, “We are them!” but only give us, the audience, and news concerning the “role” or narrate the role‟s character to us. Hence it is also natural for the actor to observe the role he is portraying and, by emphasizing both the good and bad traits of the role‟s character, incite the audience‟s approval or disapproval. So it is natural for the actor, whose whole craft rests in being able to create different imaginative objects and mental images in the minds of the viewer, in the intervals and intermissions of being in character, to be able to ask for “a glass of water to regain his breath”; redo his make-up, or indeed openly read his entire role from a written script. The actor does not mean to imply that what is actually occurring on stage is reality; he is only relating a reality that has already occurred.

  • Music to the ears of the post-war avant garde[taliem.ir]

    Music to the ears of the post-war avant garde


    John Cage, the well-known musician, who died in 1992, and the celebrations of his life show how much he influenced—and was influenced by—some of the greats of American 20thcentury art.John Cage was always clear about visual art‟s central importance to his career. For many years, he nurtured the idea of his most famous work, 4‟33”, 1952—four minutes and 33 seconds of silence, the beginning and end of which is marked by a musical performer—before taking courage from seeing a radical gesture by his friend and collaborator, Robert Rauschenberg. “His white paintings… when I saw those, I said: „Oh yes, I must. Otherwise I‟m lagging, otherwise music is lagging. If Cage owes a debt to the visual arts for their role in the creation of one of the great gamechanging Modernist masterpieces, it has been repaid on an enormous scale. That thirst for “seeing and making things not seen before”, as he once described it, is among the many aspects of Cage‟s life and career that have prompted his phenomenal cultural influence. And as the centenary of his birth is celebrated on 5 September, his flame continues to burn as brightly as ever in the visual arts. So many tendencies in contemporary art, from its emphasis on time as a theme and material to the pronounced role of chance, a promiscuous leaping between media and disciplines and the bestowal of power on the viewer, were at least in part pioneered by Cage.

  • Persian Garden[taliem.ir]

    Persian Garden


    The great substantial art exhibition held on Persian Gardens at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts in 2004 and registration of Persian  Gardens on the list of UNESCO World Heritage in 2011, make it opportune to refer to a vital significant point hidden from the eyes of  researchers of the subject so far: Persian Garden is the manifestation of a wisehumanist process with its form and geometry naturally following this process. As the result, the garden finds a destiny shared with those who use it. Thus the wiser is the design of the fate and destiny of the garden, the more extensive will be its interaction with the users. On entering a Persian Garden, the users will have all their senses, including their faculty of imagination aroused and inspired with the result that knowingly and unknowingly, consciously and unconsciously, the rhythm of their whole being will harmonize with that of the nature and in this way it is transformed, renewed and refreshed (frashkard)