Iran. Making Space for New Media, guest lecture by Amirali Ghasemi, amedia artist and curator of Parking Gallery Space and New Media Society in Tehran.
The Tehran of the nineteen nineties was not really acquainted with new media; the handful of galleries preferred to stick with the norms and dedicate themselves to showing painting, sculpture and rarely photography. Using images, posters and video extracts, the presentation sets out to shed some light on the progress of new media art in Iran.
The talk begins with the belated emergence of media art toward the end of the last decade of twentieth century and looks at the reason why it blossomed in the early two thousands before languishing, forgotten, for several years. The forces behind its recent powerful and independent comeback are then addressed. In the absence of funding from either the government or abroad, the development of the new media art scene has only been possible thanks to collective efforts and organic self-organization. The presentation takes video art in Iran and the way it has forged its own way ahead over the past 2 decades as a case study.
Tehran's new media scene is expanding into other cities, such as Isfahan, Sanandaj and Mashahad. At the same time, a few independent initiatives are try to push the back the boundaries in order to open up the space to more interdisciplinary practices by organizing exhibitions and running festivals geared toward video art and sound, and from interactive projects to contemporary dance, as well as holding regular audiovisual performance events.
Amirali Ghasemi, a media artist and a curator who travels internationally introduces his insider take on the subject by presenting the Parking Video Library stated back in 2003 & New Media society which he co-founded in 2014. He has a long-term curatorial project, IRAN&CO, which consists of an ongoing exhibition and an archive devoted to the representation of Iranian art beyond the country's borders. Ghasemi has been a guest lecturer at the Berlin University of the Arts, Calarts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm and institutes like the Delfina Foundation in London, the ICI in New York and CCA in Warsaw.