Video Sports

Curated by Amirali Ghasemi

Artists and Filmmakers:
Khosro Sinai | Sadegh Tirafkan |  Freydoun Ave | Ehsan Arjmand | Negar Farajiani | Nogol Mazloumi | Mohammad Shirvani

Video Sports” is an exhibition featuring Iranian artists from multiple who worked on the subject of sports from a personal point of view. Their often critical positions are both self-reflective and directed toward “the other”. They sometimes depict bodies in motion, struggling to seem perfect in common and structured activities. “Video Sports” comes close to the irony and the poetry to investigates the gap between the mundane and the heroic.

Special Thanks to Pouria Jahanshad, Nebras Hoveizavi, Ghazal Radpey, Erfan Jamshidi, Alireza Mohammadi, Farzaneh Kamali, Koosha Moosavi & Soheil Soheili for lending their equipments and their Time.

Curated by Amirali Ghasemi/Parking video Library
Poster designed by Erfan Jamshidi

Tirafkan Cultural Foundation
July 26  – August 2, 2019 – 
5-9 pm

Symbols in every culture, have their own value and meanings but basic human instincts have common meanings for people all over the world. The pomegranate is the most symbolic fruit in the Middle East. From love to the infinite world, you can find many meanings for it. I was always tempted to use pomegranates in one of my projects, and leave the audience to interpret it in their own way. I would like to dedicate this project to Sergei Parajanov, my favourite film-maker, who passed away in 1989.

This  film is  about Mohammad Nasiri (Persian: Mohamad Nasiri Sereŝt‎, born 31 July 1945 in Tehran) who is a retired Iranian weightlifter and an Olympic Gold Medalist for Iran. In 1995 he was elected member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.

Why fight?
Is “I” a violent person?

Until the performance Face of the Winner Man, he had neither punched nor had been punched. That is, a punch that bruises his outer side! From what build-up he was freed, after so much hitting and being hit? Where that intense feeling of pulling the trigger came from? Not to mention by a filmmaker not even one bullet had been fired in his films.

Is “I” a reformist?

In the mind of “I”, the words peace and justice are written on a bull’s eye which has been pierced so much, it is more useful to a curator to send this abstract Middle Eastern tableau to the underneath of the gavel of Christie’s Auction. There was no sign of fracture or pain in the x-rays taken from a few damaged parts in the battered body of me – the performer- a few days after the performance.
However, according to the doctor’s diagnosis, “I” had to tolerate pain for at least four weeks. The pain-bearer “I” agrees reluctantly to refer to a psychologist in mid-2009, in the midst of the political strife and immersed in the collective coma caused by lack of fight. The young psychologist, with a clean-shaven face and had-never-been-kicked looks, sits in front of me and becomes all ears for “I”.
And you think doubtfully if these ears have a suggestion, when they become a mouth, and you start to grumble in a controlled way. You haven’t made a film for three years, three of your films have been banned, none of your films have been screened in Iran, the thieves have swept clean your home-studio, you have had severe depression for three months, you have been contemplating suicide for three weeks, you have had heartache for three days and the shower of dark words, and silence in the end. Now it is his turn to become a mouth. He starts talking cautiously and priggishly like a television,
“The number three is repeated too many times in your sentences, and you must open up number three more.” The appointment ends. We meet only three times,
“I” possesses quickly his chair and he sits on my chair. “I” decides not to go on, and the project to decode number three falls flat!
The restraining powers inside me have manifested themselves from a two meter tall fighter boxer in order to knock out my will power before the fight with a few exclamation marks. How | had allowed such a monster to reside inside me, feed on me, grow inch by inch, and chuckle mockingly at me from time to time? I never intended to portray the face of an already defeated man, even if the outer appearance of such an unequal position

(Three times – three 45-minute rounds) is reminiscent of defeat. Therapy cannot be done in three sessions. It was not a Hollywood film in which the protagonist wins right there in the cinema hall. | was perhaps more like the angiography sessions for the blocked veins of my father’s heart when the doctor held the electronic gun in his hand, and like an XBox game, aimed at the accumulated fat on the monitor, and succeeded in opening one of the clogged veins with every shot. My father is able to breathe since then. He doesn’t have any blocked vein in his body. That’s where the difference is. My blockage is not like my father’s so they can pierce somewhere in my body, insert a contraption to go near the blockage of a vein Which can be touched and the zero and one of the contraptions can identify them, and finally, the brain of a specialist shoots them.

Fighting, fighting, fighting, and a happy ending.

Therapy cannot be done in three sessions. While radiology cannot show the acute pain in my left ribs and the angiographist’s gizmo cannot go near it.

Rostam’s dream is moving poetry from Fereydoun Ave with footage from a wrestling match. It appears like a magical dance, masculine and challenging. Ros – tam’s dream has been shown for the 1st time at Aaran art gallery accompanying Ave’s solo show, “Rostam in The Dead Of Winter”.

Tehran’s urban public spaces are often defined as a passage and not a place to stop and contemplate. they are dedicated to cars mostly compared to the number of sidewalks and spaces designated to the pedestrians. In Foot Dance, Negar Farajiani takes these passages as her playground to perform a simple steady game with a ball.

The Video “The Song of the Whales”, originally shown as a video installation at a solo show titled “Bigorexia” at Dena Art Gallery, Tehran. “Bigorexia” is the name of an obsessive mental disorder. In Bigorexia, the delusional or exaggerated belief is that one’s own body. Muscle dysmorphia affects mostly males, particularly those involved in sports where body size or weight are competitive factors, becoming rationales to gain muscle or become leaner. The quest to seemingly fix one’s body consumes inordinate time, attention, and resources, as on exercise routines, dietary regimens, and nutritional supplementation, while the use of anabolic steroids is also common.

“Bigorexia series” created during my search about the representing of the human body. For a while, I was thinking about their images. I was asking myself these mountains of the muscles, these giant monsters, those bodies that have changed to this strange shape with hard work and harsh regimes, what do you want to tell us? Are they beautiful? On the other hand, presenting beauty is not their matter, and they are only a sign of Masculinity that today was been questioned? Maybe these Muscular bodies of bodybuilders are a metaphor for humanity’s lost identity in modern life. The era that the muscular body has not anymore its traditional functions to find food and protect the family and it is only a sign of power. Bigorexia is the result of humans setting imaginary rules. Rules that through modern Media and advertisements transform a human into the new slaves of social life.

The Video “The Song of the Whales”, is an imaginary narrative of a bodybuilding competition: training for the competition, getting on stage, posing, and finally cheering. The footage used in this video is taken from various bodybuilding competition’s videos on the Internet, filmed from the monitor’s screen and then re-edited. What is being heard during the video, is the recorded sounds of whales communicating underwater.

Human body has always been attractive for me. Probing and inquiring to body form, first from the point of view of a human and later when I faced terminal illness in my immediate family, became more fascinating. In my earlier works, illness, annihilation, death and physical degradation was the main focus: deformed body, swollen body, erosion and decay. In recent years I have developed a liking for comic books, and that brought about my interest in the body of heroes and superheroes. The muscled body which appears to be perfect seems to be the requirement for heroism. This was the point of departure for these works: super bright colors and perfect figures against deformed bodies and black and white background of my works. Gradually these heroes came to oppose groups of people who in order to achieve the same aesthetics, change their body to the extent that they leave the normal shape. In this set of works my focus is about this mentality; in order to attain the body of heroes that Media presents as perfect and beautiful, they actually mutilate and deform their figures. I study these bodies that are obsessively manipulated to become a parody of the image of the body of a hero.