Bad Quality Fears
Raf Projects is pleased to present “bAD quaLItY feaRS”, an exhibition of photography, video and installation by Iranian artists Hadi Fallahpisheh and Shabahang Tayyari, which will open with a reception on Monday December 05, from 6 to 9 PM; an introductory speech will be given by Alireza Labeshka, chief curator of Raf Projects, at 7 PM. The exhibition will run through December 15, 2016 and will be on view every day from 3 to 7 PM.
In their recent series Hadi Fallahpisheh and Shabahang Tayyari have targeted mainstream visual regimes offered by art and media. Their manner of addressing these common imageries goes beyond the geographical limits of where they live [i. e. Iran]: their broad outlook shatters the way stage photography usually functions in general, and blurs the lines separating this form from documentary photography. What shapes the work of the artists is the process itself of achieving what is defined as staged photography. What we see is their documentations of their attempts at shooting staged photographs. What initially started as the artists’ work toward creating a series of staged images ends up becoming a record of the directions that their modus operandi has taken. As their photos tell us, their mission has changed midway from an exploration of art as a staged production to what the exploration per se entails. The trials they experienced while working has become the main subject, pushing aside the crafted subject they had originally set out to portray.
We all hold some presuppositions of what fits within the definition of high-quality imagery. But what if showing the unique -albeit imperfect- process of producing immaculate staged photography, the documentation of what happens behind the scenes, surpasses the first intended result as regards quality? Fallahpisheh and Tayyari have questioned the truth of staged images by dissecting their own work process. Theirs is an empirical project of laying bare how a certain visual form [staged photography] impacts our perception. Would we, as viewers set aside our idea of perfection and follow them in their narrative of how images are built?
Hadi Fallahpisheh (b.1987, Karaj, Iran) is an Iranian artist who lives and works in New York. He has previously had a solo exhibition in Berlin at GNYP gallery in 2016. His show in Kai Matsumiya gallery in New York is currently on view and he has previously exhibited solo in Tehran at Dastan gallery and Maryam Harandi gallery. Published reviews of his work can be found in Photograph magazine, White Hot magazine and Golestaneh. He has been the recipient of two Bard grants and an ICP grant and most recently was a resident of NMPoetics program (2016) in Santa Fe. Fallahpisheh identifies himself as the holy terror of contemporary Middle Eastern art world; in his art he is a prankster-hipster: self-conscious-unselfcon-scious, punk and player— a kind of orientalist commando. His work is irreverent, mocking of the self and the society and it is full of puns and in-jokes aimed at the art world. Fallahpisheh’s work moves incessantly between different media. He does photography and sound design as often as he makes sculptural objects. Fallahpisheh runs Hadji JohnAli gallery in NYC, has co-founded Secretaries vs Securities, and a book of his jokes will be published in 2017.
Shabahang Tayyari (b.1987, Khalkhal, Iran) is a Tehran-based artist and video game player who recently had his third solo show Fresh Caviar Ecstasy (A Bored Family) at Delgosha Gallery in Tehran. He has also participated in several group shows in Iran and the United States, at the likes of Maryam Fasihi Harandi Gallery, Etemad Gallery, Raf Projects/Tehran and Asar Gallery. “bAD quaLItY feaRS” will be Tayyari’s first show in Berlin. His works have been reviewed by publications such as Underline Magazine, Because Tehran and Golestaneh Magazine among others. His subject matter tends to revolve around contradiction and re-appropriation, and deal with feelings and memories. What he offers ends up appearing simultaneously both anxious and hopeful, Innocent and corrupt. His artistic strategies are witty and dark; they employ game tactics and clever manipulation of texts, ideas, images, and meaning, merging together the provocative and the delicate. Tayyari has co-founded Secretaries vs Securities, an artist collective and also serves as co-director of Delgosha Gallery in Tehran.
Raf Projects was launched as a not-for-profit space for contemporary art beyond the hierarchies of the art markets of Iran and the Middle East, and a center for interdisciplinary research on Iranian Art. Raf invites international as well as Iranian visual artists to present their ideas to an advanced audience of artists, curators and critics.
Recently Raf has expanded its activities by establishing a curators’, critics’ and intellectuals’ collective (official association) to pursue its projects not only in Tehran, but also in a more international atmosphere in Berlin, Germany. Raf is now introducing Iranian artists to European audiences and is cooperating with European institutes to arrange artistic projects through its rich network of Iranian art scene.
This exhibition is being kindly supported by IFA/Stuttgart and Delgosha Gallery/Tehran. Many thanks go to Erstererster Gallery and Mr. Benedikt Gnadt who patiently helped us toward the realization of this project. Amir Moghtada has designed the space and poster of the exhibition. Other exhibition colleagues: Parisa Hakiminia and Alaleh Zargami (Kunsthochschule Weissensee), Roya Emami (Assistant curator at Raf Projects), Sama Mozdastan and Mozhgan Hakimi Niya.