Pouya Parsamagham | "On the Pictures": Dastan's Basement

27 July - 10 August 2018 The Basement
Pouya Parsamagham, Balthazar, 2018
Installation Views
Press release

Dastan is pleased to announce Pouya Parsamagham’s solo exhibition titled “On the Pictures” at Dastan’s Basement. The exhibition will be open for public viewing from July 27 through August 10, 2018. This is Pouya Parsamagham’s second exhibition at the Basement.
Pouya Parsamagham (b. 1980, Tehran, Iran) studied graphic design and cinema. Throughout his career, he has used a wide variety of mediums including photography, image-making, painting, cinema and documentary work. He has worked on the set of a number of feature films, made six shorts and one long documentary, and his work in visual arts has resulted in three solo exhibitions, including a 2011 show at Aun Gallery, “Chasing” (2013) at Azad Art Gallery, and several group shows. 
Cinema and the experience of watching movies have been great sources of inspiration for the artist, immensely influencing his work. What he regularly depicts in his work is a reading of “the language of cinema” as a moment which although still, implies a sense of movement. On the other hand, he frequently seeks to transfer the feeling of sitting in front of the screen and watching a movie. Hence, in his first series of work (initially shown at “What Lies Beneath”, group exhibition at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai, UAE; and later in his solo show at Aun Gallery), he focused on displaying movie characters from behind, showing them in light-boxes in a similar fashion to a flat-screen television —the same way he experienced them himself.
The experience of obsessively following movie characters created a new look in “Chasing” series (shown at Azad Art Gallery in 2013). In the numerous short footages in the video installation, the artist focused on the vantage point of the viewer while watching a film and “chased” the characters on the screen with a video camera. In doing so, he tried to follow the personal story of each of these characters and show the moment a new story is formed within the film’s narrative. A different aspect of this approach was to imply the artist’s immobility during the chase, further emphasizing him as a “movie buff”.
Despite this approach, i.e. the artist’s immobility while working on his material, his exhibitions show a penchant for using different media and combining them. His multimedia approach has resulted in his presenting a mix of photography, painting, drawing, three-dimensional work and moving images in exhibitions —as was the case in his previous solo exhibition at the Basement, “Before Long, Before Anyone Realizes, I’ll be Gone from Here” (2015). The exhibition hosted a multi-layered style of approaching a subject —walking, motion and movement. In addition to the theme, the use of different media created a chain of meaning between the subject of the show and what the viewer experienced looking at the works.
“On the Pictures” (2016-17) Is a reflection of Pouya Parsamagham’s view to his career and daily artistic tools: his obsession for watching films as a perspective for seeing alternative experiences, his attachment to photographing what created exceptional memories from his most routine aspects of life, and painting —especially painting on printed photographs— as a means to review what was past. Using printed photographs of consecutive moments from films that contained personal and casual narratives, he painted on them to create new compositions. The arrangement of these short moments made them into pieces of a “sequence” or a narrative motion that while chasing the characters, transformed them into new actors in the artist’s film-like language.