Monday, 9 July 2012

Showcase: Iranian contemporary artist Farhad Ahrarnia

                 Farhad Ahrarnia 'Beautiful is the silence of ruins II', Photography on canvas on embroidery,
144X88.5 CM, 2011, Private collection

This is the work of Iranian born and British artschool trained, Farhad Ahrarnia, who exhibited at 'Canary in a Coal Mine' at Rose Issa Projects, London, earlier this year. His work combines stitching with postwar imagery from popular culture of Hollywood and beauty contests etc. I like the deconstruction and bricolage/craft techniques merging photography and abstraction. It reminds me of John Baldassari in stitch. Born in 1971 in Shiraz, in Iran and graduated in Experimental and Documentary Film Theory and Practice from the Northern Media School, Sheffield Hallam University, England. He lives and works between Sheffield and Shiraz, Iran.

"For me living in Iran has never guaranteed a state of detachment or indifference to events unfolding rapidly in the rest of the world. Various contradictory narratives, sounds and images seep into my imagination and consciousness. They become entangled with my perception, history and everyday reality. Naturally I can’t help but weave my own set of meanings from what I see around me. I piece together tainted realisations and understandings, imbued with a sense of conspiracy, anxiety and unease, however false or twisted it might be."

He recently showed at the Beirut Exhibition Centre and at the Venice Biennale. The following text by Farhad Ahrarnia , is from the Beirut Exhibition Centre exhibition:
"The myriad diversity of Iranian perspectives on regional and global events has always bemused and intrigued me. I suppose the greatest challenge that faces my generation is how to reconcile our contemporaneity and modernity with our search for individual and collective truths. If and when we bother to reclaim everything that tends to seduce and manipulate our views, perhaps then a degree of emancipation will be achieved.
I reach out for my truth and autonomy through embroidery and the language of needlework, with sharp needles and endless spools of colourful thread. As I navigate my thoughts through the surface of an image, I find myself deconstructing and re-assembling its subliminal undertones and intentions. Recently I have begun carving metallic household utensils, forming my version of certain collective histories on to their surface. This is my attempt to dig out and save the lost spirit of all that might still be hovering beneath."
His recent solo shows include“Canary in a Coal Mine” at Rose Issa Projects, London (2012); “Stitched” with Rose Issa Projects at Leighton House Museum, London (2008); and “Home” at Bessie Sertees House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead (both 2004-05). His work is in the public collections of the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; Harewood House, Leeds; and the British Museum, London.
Farhad Ahrarnia, 'Miss Iraq n.7', Digital photograph on cotton aida and embrodery,
59X39 CM, 2010
Farhad Ahrarnia, 'Beautiful is the silence of ruins IV', Photography on cnvas on embroidery,
144X88.5 CM, 2011, Private collection

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