Dastan is pleased to announce “Tales of Interdisciplinia: The Curious Company of a Very Long Tail”, an exhibition by Shokoofeh Khoramroodi and Taba Fajrak. The exhibition will open on January 4 and continue through January 25, 2019. The exhibition is The Basement’s feature during Teer Art Week 2019. The exhibition is curated by Ashkan Zahraei in collaboration with Alireza Fatehie Boroujeni as assistant curator.
“Tales of Interdisciplinia: The Curious Company of a Very Long Tail”, is the result of two years of collaboration between drawing artist, painter, and animation artist, Shokoofeh Khoramroodi, and performance artist, choreographer and researcher Taba Fajrak. An introduction to this project, “Memebrain” (December 2017), was the 19th project among Electric Room’s 50-project program.
“Memebrain” was an interdisciplinary multimedia installation consisting of a recorded performance, animation, paintings and three-dimensional works. It can be best explained as a collaborative pursuit testing the inherently divergent yet potentially homogeneous nature of different artistic media to express a single idea, which being re-enacted through a variety of forms branches into repetitions of the same thing always with a difference.
The body and the principal part of the current project, “Tales of Interdisciplinia”, is a more comprehensive format of the miniature version installed and displayed at Electric Room. Recorded performances, animations and paintings will be placed in a colossal installation creating a prototypical ambience supposedly defined to affect and alter the experience and the process of observation in viewers. The viewers once stepped inside the gallery find themselves located within an overarching work of art and are presented to an alternative world which is itself nested with other smaller pieces of work.
The works in their repetition and multiplicity borrow much from literary discourse and the narrative technique accompanied by adaptation and appropriation of a number of well-known artworks such as David Hockney's Illustrations of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales and Casper David Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog —all displayed in a fantasmatic three-dimensional installation creating an uncanny ambience. With their emphasis on interdisciplinarity and multi-modality they try to contain multiplicity of voices and modes of engagement in a single encounter as much as possible. The most prominent voice resonating through all the works is that of a story teller who injects narrativity into the works using autobiographical references saturated with mythical, fairy and oneiric characters. Thereby, crossing the disciplinary boundaries, the works imagine a contemporary consumer of visual arts whose quick shift of attention favors a multiplicity in techniques of expression, as a reader of literary works who takes joy in stories with stock characters in myriad dreamlike situations. Videos and animations can be seen as adaptations of one another all being about the same story presented in different forms. Repetition is the key word but each replication comes with a difference, an ambiguous space, an excess, that provides a new possibility for alternative beginnings.
The space of the gallery is first territorialized/de-territorialized by the artists. The Duo covering the walls with their parchment paper membrane try to appropriate and habituate the place and create an “inside”, in which they can present their works within a handmade world of their own. But the result is disconcerting, since the place, now being a deformed and an unlikely version of the known gallery space, seems more unhomely as what it was before. Yet this unheimlich atmosphere is prevalent in all the works because of the indefinite distinction between the outside and the inside, always blurred with the emergence of an unfamiliar entity within the familiar. This indefiniteness finds its counterpart in the relationship between the two co-operating artists, always interrupted with the presence of a third unsettlingly unknown yet highly-accepted part/entity.
Bringing autobiographical intensity to their work, the duo try to express the distinctness of individual experience and not necessarily its representativeness, as they expose the psychological turbulence experienced by two Tehran-based female artists throughout their collaboration. Externalizing and constructing an outside, they begin to articulate self-reference. Looking at each other, they come to a self-perception copied from the external form of the outside object analogously. An observation of an object becomes a self-perception. As they explain, “By marking a distinction between inside and outside we create a form, but this form no matter where it is placed in this distinction, whether inside or out, generates another unmarked space and always promises something else without defining it and can never fully comprehend or represent the distinction.”
Special thanks to Mehran Afshar, Mohammad Hossein Gholamzadeh, Siavash Naghshbandi, Babak Afshari, Zahra Rostamian, and Hossein Azadi
Taba Fajrak (b. 1989, Tehran, Iran) is a performance artist, dancer, and researcher. She is a graduate of English Language and Literature from the University of Tehran. She continued her studies in nonsense literature and non-verbal performance, obtaining a master’s degree in English Literature from Shahid Beheshti University (Tehran). Her pieces have been featured in several exhibitions and public performances. Taba frequently works in collaboration with other artists from a range of different disciplines.
Shokoofeh Khoramroodi (b. 1988, Hamedan, Iran) studied Painting at the Faculty of Arts & Architecture (Azad University, Tehran) and Yazd Faculty of Art & Architecture. Focusing mostly on drawing over her career, more recently she has experimented in animation and multidisciplinary work. Shokoufeh’s drawings, paintings and animation pieces have been featured in more than ten group exhibitions, as well as a number of collaborative projects.