News from Tehran 2

Etablissement d'en face projects

Vernissage > 6/05 > 19:00
Expo > 7/05 – 12/05 > 14:00 – 19:00
Performances
6.12/05 > 21:00
7.8.11/05 > 19:00
Video Programmes
8/05 > 17:00 (1)
9/05 > 19:00 (2)
10/05 > 19:00 (1 & 2)
Lecture
9/05 > 17:00

For News From Tehran 2, the Arta Group in collaboration with Nasrin Tabatabai developed performances based on the idea of a workshop on the replacement of the city of Tehran. The performances are inspired by the real discussions around the replacement of the capital city (a discussion already going on for more than a decade and proposed recently again to Parliament), and are developed to a form of fiction influenced by this reality. The performances speak of Tehran as a metropolis in crisis. They examine this crisis through the fictive/documentary reconstruction of the city’s everyday life.

News From Tehran 2 : Een project van/Un projet de/A project by Nasrin Tabatabai

5 Performances van/de/of Arta Group:

Workshop on Replacement of the Capital City Tehran

Concept: Nasrin Tabatabai

Aanpassing en decor/Aménagement et décor/Development and Design: Arta Group (Ayat Najafi, Sahar Dowlatshahi, Fovad Mokhberi) and Nasrin Tabatabai

Regie/Metteur en scène/Director: Ayat Najafi

Scenario/Scénario/Script: Arta Group (Ayat Najafi, Sahar Dowlatshahi, Fovad Mokhberi)

Met/Avec/Performances by : Sahar Dowlatshahi, Fovad Mokhberi

Videomontage/Montage video/Video Editing : Babak Afrassiabi

Camera/Caméra : Saied Sadegi

Video programma/Programme vidéo/Video programme : Nasrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi

Video werken door/Travaux vidéos par/Video Works by: Maani Petgar, Bahman Kiarostami, Pirooz Kalantari, Javad Emami, Kambiz Ghavamzadeh, Nahid Rezaei, Nasrin Tabatabai, a. o.

Lezing/Lecture: Catherine David

Bladen/Pages: Nasrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi

Een initiatief van/Une initiative de/Initiated by : Etablissement d'en face projects (Brussel/Bruxelles)
Productie/Production : KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation : Etablissement d'en face projects, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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Rotterdam, March 2004

News From Tehran is a project based on current artistic and cultural practices in Iran developed through communications and exchanges with Iranian artists working in different disciplines. The project aims to work with topics of social, political and cultural representations already implicitly addressed in the artists’ works.

News From Tehran takes a horizontal approach, trying to work explicitly with differentiations in artistic activities and productions. It can be seen as part of the broader concern with investigating how artistic practices in Iran are both constituted by and seek to address social, political and cultural conditions in their particular methods of representation. The narratives these practices communicate are often themselves marked by difference and dissonance, and as such they not only resist subjectivisation but also tend to escape becoming mere examples of cultural difference.

The title News From Tehran is rather an allusive reference to these differentiations and dissonances. The word news here does not refer to the presented works as news or as means of mediating news from Tehran, but rather to events and conditions circulating between artistic activities and their socio-political context beyond locality.

The first presentation of the project (News from Tehran 1, at the Witte de With Institute, a centre for contemporary art in Rotterdam, February 2004) consisted of videos and photographic works and projects in progress. The first issue of Pages, a bilingual Farsi/English magazine, was also launched at the same time. Being rooted more in the context of visual arts, Pages intend to function as a platform for exchanging thoughts and artists’ projects reflecting on the socio-political currents in Iran and elsewhere. The magazine also tries to initiate international collaborative projects between artists/writers in different disciplines.

News From Tehran 2 is a one-week event. It responds to the general theme of the project, but focuses more on projects that have been developed since its first presentation at the WdW Institute. Taking the city as a field for their research and experimentations, the artists behind these projects reflect on the socio-political events structuring the daily life of the city and affecting its inhabitants. In other words, by questioning the identity of the city in change, caught between tradition and modernity, the artists question their own presence in this complex tapestry of relations and meanings.

An example of this approach is the work of the young artists from Arta Group. The group has its roots in theatre performance, but their interdisciplinary method of working always involves other mediums.

In their recent project they take the city of Tehran as their source of experiment and research. They describe their process of working as “registrations of the city’s behaviours, entering the actual conditions of these behaviours, seeking their roles in them and recreating their findings in their plays.”

For News From Tehran 2, the Arta Group in collaboration with Nasrin Tabatabai developed performances based on the idea of a workshop on the replacement of the city of Tehran. The performances are inspired by the real discussions around the replacement of the capital city (a discussion already going on for more than a decade and proposed recently again to Parliament), and are developed to a form of fiction influenced by this reality. The performances speak of Tehran as a metropolis in crisis. They examine this crisis through the fictive/documentary reconstruction of the city’s everyday life.

In addition to these performances, there are video programmes, a lecture and daily presentations in the spaces of Etablissement d’en face projects, which form the content of News From Tehran 2.

The second issue of the magazine Pages will be launched at the same time.

Nasrin Tabatabai

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