16th November, 2015
The Mine is pleased to present uNclear deal, a photography and video art group exhibition of 12 prominent Iranian artists.
Our most sincere witness is mute and yet most communicative. What realizations would we face if the city’s inaudible whispers could be voiced? Can the camera act as its interpreter?
Whilst it has been argued that we are the product of our environment, uNclear deal looks at the city as the product of its society. We have long looked at remnants of past urbanism to understand the culmination of socio-politico-economic characteristics; the walls, streets, people, all form a point of intersection, a moment of centrality, defining decisions that have shaped the built environment and in turn map the structure of agreements and interactions that constitute the cultural and political frame of a society and its future.
uNclear deal sees through the lens of a selection of 12 of Iran's most prominent artists with artworks that depict the city and urban experience as the figurative expression of the prevailing and uncertain Iranian socio-political climate. With the artist as conduit, each visual record reconstructs social experience to take on a form of relational practice.
Iran’s urban structures can be read as we would a palimpsest, the layering of past and present, juxtapositions of sound and form, movement and static, youth and decay. The superimposition of generations that have unfolded in fragile autarky makes Iran’s infrastructure a silent but candid portraiture of the underlying borders drawn between the directing elite and its people.
This exhibition sees the city as the hushed witness of what has been, and acts as a testimonial tapestry of experience, a proof of photographic presence, to better discern what the new deal will bring to the Iranians, expose its contrasts, and bring to light its secrets. The scattered “No Photography” urban signs testify to the truth that holds the captures, immortalizing the city behaviors; a smile passing by a frown, an elegant building alongside slums.
The city holds sundry contradictions, unclear statements - statements left behind by those who have experienced the streets, their sounds, form and space. Every imprint is both a scar and a symbol of mending, the polluted veil makes for abstract beauty - but what remains in an utmost state of abstraction is really what is most obvious, and that it that we are subject to circular causality whereby the streets mirror their experiences but also generates them.
Mehdi Abdolkarimi | Mehrdad Afsari | Nesa Azadikhah | Gohar Dashti | Alireza Fani | Farzane Ghadyanloo | Babak Kazemi | Omid Mehdizadeh | Pargol Naloo | Hamed Nouri | Behnam Sadighi | Setare Sanjari