Creative Disturbance (Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts)

Maryam Veysmoradi is a young Iranian filmmaker and director who has produced several short films. My dialogue with her revolves around issues such as the nature of the short film versus the feature film, the relationship between short films and ethical dilemmas, political realities, and the human being’s existential predicaments. Instead of dealing with subjects rooted in the minutiae of everyday life, in some of her works, she has tried to touch upon issues which are concerned with war and universal peace. Primarily, in this podcast, Maryam Veysmoradi elaborates on the nature of short film as an autonomous artistic medium which is aesthetically and ontologically distinguishable from its counterpart feature film. Although “brevity” is the principal characteristic of the short film, but Maryam emphasizes that this characteristic does not detract the strong influence of the short film in terms of engaging and evoking the emotional and mental state of its audiences. In her works, she wishes to achieve a universal cinematic language which can exceed human linguistic differences and that would enable to call upon human beings all across the world.   

Hatef Alimardani is a renowned Iranian filmmaker, director, and screenwriter whose movies are noticeably engaged with socio-political dilemmas, cultural cleavages and economic difficulties of present-day Iran, portrayed through stories of Iranian middle class families. 
My dialogue with him revolves around issues such as the correlation between cinema and science, cinema and society, aesthetics of cinema, cinema as an autonomous medium, and naturalistic cinema. In this podcast, Alimardani, as a professional filmmaker, emphasizes the power and penetration of the cinematic picture through evoking and touching upon the emotional and mental state of cinema’s audiences. Hatef Alimardani characterizes Iran’s cinema as an internationally-recognized artistic phenomenon which is primarily tangled with representation of interpersonal relationships contextualized in the current turbulent situation of the Iranian society.
Direct download: hatef2.mp3
Category:Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts -- posted at: 9:19am CDT

This podcast is a conversation with Peter Pirhosseinlou Iranian musician, sound artist ,and music organizer. My dialogue with him revolves around issues such as the relationship between music and meaning, the nature of meaning in music, and the audience’s musical experience. In his music, his main priority is to build a mutual bound with his audience as every other possible influence is conditioned to this bound. One of the main interests of the artist is the moments in music that he calls “happenings”,occurring in the process of  creating a musical piece and go beyond planned technical considerations and control-based techniques of making music.

Direct download: Mp3.mp3
Category:Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts -- posted at: 11:30am CDT

Theater as a Mode of Dissent  / [FA]  تئاتر هنر معترض

Theater as a Mode of Dissent

Mohammad Yaghoubi is a multi-award-winning playwright, director, screenwriter, and theater instructor. He is also  the co-founder of Nowadays Theater which is a non-profit theater company in Toronto, Canada. In this podcast, our conversation revolves around the issue of theater and what Yaghoubi believes is the inherent correlation of theater with politics, ethics, truth, and freedom. Inspired by Greek tragedies which were heavily dependent on philosophy and litrature as their indispensable attributes, Yaghoubi contributes to a theater where the human situation is taken seriously, a form of theater that abstains to surrender to pure aesthetic inclinations. Having been disappointed by those thinkers, such as Russian theater practitioner Konstantin Stanislavsky, who consider theater as an autonomous form of art detached from philosophy, politics, and society, Yaghoubi characterizes theater as a mode of dissent. In this sense, Mohammad Yaghoubi recognizes theater as an inherently socio-political phenomenon which casts doubt over apparently unquestionable axiomatic principles which have constructed social norms and shaped our understanding of the truth. Through engaging in theater either as a playwright or director, Yaghoubi attempts to raise questions about claimed eternal truths and so-called realities imposed upon the individual. His primary concern as a playwright is to lighten the shoulders of his audiences of the burden of these forced truths and historically accumulated narrations.

Direct download: 5thfarsi.mp3
Category:Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts -- posted at: 3:06pm CDT

The Persian myth of Zarvan / [FA] اسطوره ي زروان

This podcast is a conversation with contemporary Iranian sculptor Aban Salehi regarding her award-winning sculpture “Zarvan” in the Versus Sculpture Festival 2015 in Tehran. By referring to the ancient Persian myth of Zarvan, god of time in ancient Persian deities,  Aban Salehi intends to criticize the long-held foundations of viewing the world through good and evil forces as a dominant narrative of Iranian culture which leaves no room for shades of grey.  In Persian mythological texts,  Zarvan is a divine being who engendered equal-but-opposite twins, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu which are characterized as the symbols of good and evil in the universe. Based on ancient mythology, these two non-reconciliatory forces of good and evil are the driving forces of the universe eternally engaged in an endless battle. The divinity Zarvan is also recognized  as the god of eternal time and space who is a transcendental being emancipated from temporal passionate desires in Persian Mythic narratives. Aban Salehi’s black and white sculpture “Zarvan,” symbolizes the eternally abysmal fight between the forces of light and darkness, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu. Through an intertwined assimilation of demoniacal black and white shapes illuminated by an external light in her sculpture, Aban Salehi attempts to challenge what she believes is the Iranian society’s prevalent dichotomous understanding of the world which has become even more bifurcated as a result of the current post-revolutionary politics of the country. Through contemporizing a deep-rooted mythical belief in the form of a sculpture, Aban Salehi aims to to cast doubt over her society’s cemented axiomatic principles grounded in dichotomous mythical and historical accounts of what the nature of truth and reality is. Salehi’s personal experience as a child viewing a public execution in Isfahan, Iran has immensely contributed to the young sculptor’s artistic perspective.

Direct download: ABAN4th.mp3
Category:Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts -- posted at: 2:26pm CDT

Art and its emancipatory dimensions/ [FA] هنر و ابعاد رهایی بخش آن

Gholamreza Jamshid Moradian is a renowned Iranian sculptor and an authority in wooden sculpture. He has participated in a vast variety of both national and international symposiums and biennales across the world. In 2008, he won the Excellence Award in an Olympic landscape sculpture contest in China.

In this conversation, Jamshid Moradian speaks with me about his ontological approach to art as a transcendental phenomenon, the necessity of art in today’s hectic modern life, the problem of consumerism in the realm of the arts, and touches upon why art should keep pace with the spirit of the age. Regarding the existential necessity of art in today’s conflict-driven world, Jamshid Moradin contends that art has a potential to shed light on catastrophic occurrences around us. Such illumination contributes to the interpretation of such tragic events through evoking and touching upon both the senses and the mental state of art’s audiences. Indeed, art has a capacity to cast doubt over society's cemented axiomatic principles grounded in historical biases that contribute to violence, and can influence the socially-constructed psychological domain of audiences, hence contributing to a deeper understanding of the world and sources of contention.

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Category:Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts -- posted at: 3:20pm CDT

Vis and Ramin Performance: Ancient Persian Love Story/ [FA] پرفورمنس ویس و رامین

This podcast is a conversation with Iranian conceptual artist and sculptor Ramin Etemadi-Bozorg regarding his performance titled “Vis and Ramin” in Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art. By referring to the ancient Persian love story of Vis and Ramin, Etemadi-Bozorg intends to contemporize a mythical-romantic narrative about passionate love composed by 11th century classical Persian poet Fakhruddin As'ad Gurgani.The artist attempts to relate the romantic epic to the present-day context of Iran. In doing so, Ramin Etemadi-Bozorg attempts to set the ground for today’s audiences to correspond with the world of myths through taking an active role in his performance, instead of being idle observers. It seems, in Etemadi’s performance, the modern dichotomous understanding of logos versus mythos(myth), which is considered as an antagonistic and non-reconciliatory way of thinking has been challenged, since he makes a reconciliation between the world of myth and today’s logo-enteric tendency of modern audiences.

Direct download: ramin.mp3
Category:Artisthinktive Iran: A Forum for Distinctive Thinking on Iranian Arts -- posted at: 2:48pm CDT

بدن جولانگاه قدرت  / Your Body is a Battleground of power


بدن تو جولانگاه قدرت

بدنهای عوروعریان ،عاری از هرگونه  عناصر زیباشناختی جنسی، جنسیت را که ساختارها به صورت یک عارضه،بر بدنش داغ کردند را فریاد می زنند. فیگورها ادعای پس گرفتن حق پایمال شده ی تاریخی خود، از گذشتگان را ندارند بلکه اعاده حیثیت می کنند از حق انسان زیستن در بدنی جنسیت زدا. بدنی جنسیت زدا به این معنا که بر تمام بستر های معنی ساز به مفاهیم خط کشی ها  و تبعیض های جنسی کاذب مهر ابطال بزند و معیارهای جنسی  به معیارهای انسانی مبدل گردد.

آثار از مخاطب طلب می کند ،تحمل کند شرم دیدن،تقلیل دادن شرف وهستی انسانی،تحت عنوانزن به یک حفره واندام جنسی در جامعه . بدنهای زنان به دور از هر نوع حاشیه وابهام ،به صورت مخاطب می کوبند نگاه واقعیتی را که همه نا خواسته و ندانسته در آن بی انسان شدیم.

سخن من بر سر انکار،ستایش یا برجسته سازی تفاوتهای جنسی نیست، سخن من بر سر نقد دیدگاه ابزاری وتبعیض    امیز جنسی از هر نوع  وشکلش است

Shadi Moosavi is a contemporary Iranian artist. She deals with issues of sexuality, body ,and identity in her paintings. The distinguishing characteristic of her works is their emphasis on sexualized human bodies attempting to visually reveal how socio-political power relationships create and consolidate the common and fixed sexual stereotypes and sexually arranged roles of our times. Through assimilation of sexual organs in a single blood-stained body, Shadi Moosavi defines gender and sexuality as a social construction contributing to the core of political power in order to maintain dominance over women’s bodies and minds. In her statement about her paintings she says:

“The women’s body, lacking all the elements of sexual beauty, calls out the sexuality as an excrescence being scorched on the corps. The figures do not claim their trampled historical right from the ancestors; instead claim for their identity. The right of living likes a real human from the body detached from the sexuality; meaning that it eliminates all the foundations that create meaning in concept of rules and regulations and the pseudo-discriminations against the genders. And transform the sexual criteria’s to humanitarian ones.

The works ask the viewers to survive the taboo of looking at them, alleviating the honor and the being of human being in the name of “woman” to a “ sexual organ” in the society. Women’s body away from elaboration and ambiguity, brings a fact in front of the viewer’s face, we have turned inhuman even inadvertently.”


[FA]نمایشنامه ی خانه/  Theatrical Performance “Home”

This podcast is a conversation with contemporary Iranian Director Kiamoars Moradi regarding his recent theatrical performance “Home” here in Dallas, Texas. As a professional theater director, Kiomars Moradi deploys the magical realism genre in which magical elements blend with well-known contemporary issues of Iran to allow a deeper understanding of the complex realities of the Iranian society, a society caught between modernity, tradition and revolutionary values. The magical realism genre is also an effective tool for Moradi to overcome and dodge Iran’s state-censorship through a more politically subtle genre. Kiomars Moradi’s Home narrates current social tensions, cultural cleavages and economic difficulties of the Iranian society through the story of a middle class family in the capital city of Tehran. Home displays a striking and vivid depiction of how family bonds in the Iranian society have been deeply influenced and harmed by a prevalent cultural, ideological and religious gap between two generations of Iranian parents and children. The parents belong to Iran’s 1979 revolutionary-era followed immediately by the eight year 1980 Iran-Iraq War, and the kids are the current generation of Iranians born after these turbulent times of ideology and warfare propaganda.

چیدمانی از کهکشان / Galactic Installation [FA]

In this podcast contemporary Iranian artist, Mahsa Karimizadeh, talks about her recent exhibition in Aun Gallery in Tehran. She describes how nature, the infinite galaxy especially black holes and the microscopic world of atoms have constantly been primary sources of her artistic inspiration.

مهسا کریمی زاده هنرمند مجسمه سازی است که همواره طبیعت، جهان بی انتهای کهکشانها، سیاهچاله ها و حتی جهان میکروسکوپی اتمها نخستین منبع الهام بخش او در خلق آثار هنری بوده اند.او در جستجوی ماهیت سیاهچاله های فضایی به عنوان پدیده هایی که هم جهان را می بلعند و هم موتور متحرک جهان هستند، راه به دنیای درونی خود می برد. نمایشگاه اخیر او در گالری’’ آن“ اثر خلاقانه ای بود که ذهن مخاطب را به تصاویری از کهکشان و اجرام فضایی پیوند می زد

مجسمه ی صدا: واریاسیون شماره ی ۲۳ بر روی تمی از هری برتویا [FA] / Sound Sculpture: Variation No. 23 on theme by Harry Bertoia [ENG]

As a sound artist, Vedad FamourZadeh is exploring the integration of sound art and electronic music with different soundscapes and diverse musical traditions of Iran. He strives for rekindling intrigue for the details that define a place, on listening closely to minutiae of everyday sonic. He is especially interested in interactive pieces that can generate a polyphonic textural ambient sound. This tension of a hybrid identity, recontextualizing sonic materials from their native tradition to a modernistic setting is at the core of his pieces and he tries to bring forth an immediate experience through which the audience reexamine their conception of music as well as their sonic environment. He has recently turned his focus towards the sound as art-object especially in sculptural pieces.