[spectre] Biennial Tehran CALL FOR ART 'Urban Jealousie'

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Sat Apr 12 16:07:02 CEST 2008

e-artnow: 12.04.2008

Biennial Tehran CALL FOR ART 'Urban Jealousie'

		Contact: Amirali Ghasemi and Serhat Koksal
		<mailto:biennialtehran at gmail.com>biennialtehran at gmail.com


		1st station:
Istanbul, 30th May - 6th July 2008

Curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Serhat Koksal

Urban Jealousy
the 1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran

30th May - 6th July 2008

Curated by Serhat koksal and Amirali Ghasemi

Deadline: Monday 21st of April
you can find text and application form ;

The theme of this biennial is URBAN JEALOUSY. A 
Jalousie * ("jealousy" in French) is a window 
that one can see through but not be seen; 
barriers that allow us to observe the world 
without being invited to the table. Iranian 
artists are given an understanding of what goes 
on in the world without being offered a single 
opportunity to communicate their thoughts-outside 
of our very own jalousie window: a rigid ethnic 
frame within an extremely politicized context.

Of all the huge urban areas around the world, 
Tehran stands out as a different kind of 
Megalopolis. It boasts one of the most dynamic 
art scenes in the Middle East even as the city 
itself deals with a rudimentary public transport 
system, an exploding population crisis, and an 
ever-increasing sprawl of mass housing; An 
unsightly city of experimental architecture that 
swallows entire villages and towns without 
offering them any sort of public services.

Despite its complicated urban situation-which 
according to experts has already spiraled out of 
control-artists" societies in Tehran continue to 
hold numerous biennials in semi-tribal fashion. A 
great number of these events are 
government-sponsored projects whose outlook and 
also their premises can shift 180 degrees from 
one year to the next. Each community has its own 
set of ceremonies, as a result of which, any 
sense of solidarity among the artists is lost.

The Tehran Visual Arts Festival, The Calligraphy 
Biennial, The Sculpture Biennial, The Cartoon 
Biennial, The Painting Biennial of the Islamic 
World, The Graphic Design Biennial, The 
Children"s Books Illustration Biennial, The 
Painting Biennial, The Poster Biennial, The 
Poster Biennial of the Islamic WorldŠ the list is 

Although the legendary "TEHRAN BIENNIAL" goes 
back 50 years, not a single one of the 
above-mentioned events can be considered a 
biennial by prevailing and accepted international 
standards".  An arts society recently published a 
call to boycott the upcoming Painting Biennial in 
order to demand a professionally curated 
exhibition, protesting the open call process and 
a "jury" they deemed unacceptable.

It seems impossible to have a proper Tehran 
biennial in Tehran, so our sprawling city and its 
elitist art scene remain excluded from the highly 
competitive art market in the region despite 
being surrounded from all sides by lucrative 
biennials and auctions. We may have great artists 
living and working in Iran, but we don"t have a 
chance to share the profits.

Tehran, as one may suppose, does not seem 
interested in presenting itself as a desirable 
destination for cultural tourism, by playing it 
"cool" like other global cities, or scramble to 
be hip by coughing up the membership dues to be 
in the international art market.

So, to jumpstart the process, and after a long 
discussion with my friend, Serhat Koksal - a 
critic of the global biennialization process - we 
decided to curate a "mini", on the move, Tehran 
biennial. To not only stop complaining about the 
current situation but to benefit from the 
advantages of it. An independent, low- budget, 
traveling exhibition which can be presented 
almost anywhere. We will travel like nomads, 
carrying artwork, objects, texts, and whatever, 
in a package no bigger than a medium-sized 
suitcase, preferably weighing less than 20 Kg., 
so it can be carried on any cheap flight.

Urban Jealousy will end its journey in May 
2010,but Tehran"s Roaming Biennial will carry 
on.Feb 2008


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