Serminaz Barseghian | "Optinaz Co. Ltd.": Dastan's Basement

16 - 23 February 2018 The Basement

A solo exhibition of recent drawings and paintings by Serminaz Barseghian

Installation Views
Press release

Dastan is pleased to announce Serminaz Barseghian’s solo exhibition titled “Optinaz Co. Ltd.” at Dastan’s Basement. The exhibition will be open for public viewing from February 16 through February 23, 2018. This is Serminaz Barseghian’s first solo exhibition. Her work was previously featured in in “A Camp” (Dastan’s Basement, Curated by Sam Samiee, October 2017), and “Update 5.0” (V-Gallery, July 2017).
Serminaz Barseghian (b. 1987, Tehran, Iran) is a graduate of painting from Tehran Fine Arts School, and Sculpture from Tehran Art University. She has been a student of Seroj Barseghian since 2009, learning visual geometry and arts. Her pieces have been featured in over ten group exhibitions in Iran, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France and Sweden.
The current presentation, “Optinaz Co. Ltd.”, is part of a larger body of work which Serminaz Barseghian started about two years ago. Using markers for drawing and painting, the main theme in these works has been Indigo Children*: children who possess special and unusual abilities. Serminaz Barseghian, aka Optinaz**, paints these children based on photographs by referring to the mother who share their family lives on the internet, on a daily basis. She has hence created a link between using markers, a more or less new tool, the internet, which has provided a new setting for human beings, and the new attention which has risen towards child behavioral development.
Writing about this series of works, Seroj explains: “Serminaz’s first solo exhibition at Dastan’s Basement is an opportunity for us to encounter new forms which painters and artists use in their approach towards their contemporary concerns. Using a calculated discourse, she draws our attention to thin, and sometimes fragile, layers of contemporary society, and the context in which children live in —a relative welfare. The artist, with a breathtaking volume of high-quality work, portrays her sharp painterly view on child issues and subjects. Color, as a parameter which has been always one of the best ways to express psychological action and interaction, can be considered as a subtle embodiment of the relationship between the individual and the society. Of course, this is merely the beginning of such a new psychosocial perspective. Painters and visual artists, with their penetrating eyes, look and dissect; they portray children (human beings), in silence, depending on the musical nature of colors, form, atmosphere and tonality, and emphasize on the objects that are products of a conscious choice or decisions imposed by the complex relations of mass industrial production and education/society. Thus, they share us in their ‘looking’ and painterly observations, which is quite different from merely watching. Additionally, they share our minds with children’s, with a comparison of color and happiness, and all the forms of expression. This important fact, happens during a time when images, movement, and short footages, can sometimes be better mediums than language for recording or expressing.”
He continues: “Serminaz is a painter and in this stage of her career, continues her path to strengthen her bonds and make new connections between herself and the realm of social interactions. It is evident that she creates her work with a proper social understanding, and a deep study into the relationships between individuals, children, society and ultimately gender. She is a woman sees an importance in the childhood of girls and their upbringing. Serminaz is connected to the families whose children are of her interest, “Indigo and Lucy”; this is a proper human relationship which has caused her to focus on different aspects of their lives and happiness, on levels of our society which has become overly global. Her concerns are the human situations, chances and relationships that all the children of the world, no matter their race, nationality or location, deserve. The context and interpretation of Serminaz’s work is ‘the child’ and its relationship with society and family —she expresses this using a visual approach with a focus on color, which is the best medium for showing psychological content. Serminaz is a graduate of art academy, has a command over all types of techniques, and has surely used tools, materials, and techniques in a masterly and expertly manner. She takes our contemporary visual arts to a higher level and opens us a new window.”
Sam Samiee writes on “Optinaz Co. Ltd.”: “Barseghian’s meticulous observations of little girls growing up, is a result of her research over two years on the relationship of their mothers and how they represent this process. Among the over-saturated world of images, this subject is the least touched area. She has followed these relationships on the social media of the mothers and later has painterly interpreted the collected images in a panoramic of our general socio-economic surroundings, shared also by these little girls who are all pushed for a false particularity and all ending up in a generality. In the age of trendiness of women and identity politics, the sharp eyes of Serminaz searches deep in the less seen significant moments and critically observes how indeed it is mothers who look after their daughters growth, their passage to adulthood and their identifications. Very little number of artists and critics have touched upon this territory. While all over the world, women have taken torches to burn the assaulting enemies, Serminaz reminds us that we must look deeper at the grotesque of childhood catastrophes and lost potentials of depth and maturity caused by the care-takers of these kids who themselves are not exempt from the axiom of her criticism.”


* Indigo Children according to a pseudoscientific New Age concept, are children who are believed to possess special, unusual, and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities.
** “Optinaz” (Optimistic + Serminaz) is the artist’s chosen identity for this series of work.