We R The Nomads (WRTN) agency presents EXT. / INT. INT. / EXT., a show co-curated by WRTN’s Camila and Firouz FarmanFarmaian – Iranian contemporary artist and grandnephew of the recently passed leading Iranian artist Monir FarmanFarmaian, respectively. Taking place at Nouvelle Vague Marbella (NVM) Gallery in Spain, the show, Firouz shares, “explores the interior of you (meaning your interior life, your spirituality), faced with your exterior comfort zone.”
EXT. / INT.
INT. / EXT.
Presented by We R The Nomads (WRTN) Agency | Co-curated by Camila and Firouz FarmanFarmaian
August 2 – September 2, 2019
Vernissage and Art Party:
Friday, August 2, 2019 | 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nouvelle Vague Marbella (NVM) Gallery
Calle Carbon 112
29603 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
For additional information, please contact NVM Gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shadi Rezaei, Samer Fouad, David Paul Kay, Paco Sanguino, and Firouz FarmanFarmaian; musical storytelling by Ave Maria (Dark Disco – Lisboa)
Illustrated with this show in Marbella, 2 August-1 September, co-curators Firouz and Camilla – in harmony with the aim of host gallery, NVM – give a voice to emerging artists from Iran and North Africa. One of these artists is London-based Shadi Rezaei, who, Firouz highlights, “is one of the most resounding emerging Persian feminine voices with a strong potential to shape the future debates about gender and identity censorship and freedom of speech in the Middle East.” Another is Samer Fouad: “an Egyptian-American NY artist-designer focusing on themes of displacement with a strong contemporary multidisciplinary vision,” says Firouz (pictured below).
Laurent Coubronne: photographer
Firouz FarmanFarmaian – Summer at the Caspian
As well as curating, Firouz FarmanFarmaian is also exhibiting with a piece reminiscing his show from October 2016 called Summer at the Caspian previously shown at the Shirin Gallery in NYC’s Chelsea Gallery District. The video for the series will make its debut screening in Nouvelle Vague Marbella (NVM Gallery)’s booth at the ArtMarbella art fair and run in parallel with a screening at EXT. / INT. INT. / EXT.; where a print from Firouz’s video will also be shown.
In this collaborative exchange, WRTN (representing Samer and Shadi) partners up with the Spanish gallery Nando Argüelles Art Projects, showcasing their NY-based street artist John Paul Kay, as well as NVM Gallery to showcase the Marbella-based Spanish reference contemporary artist Paco Sanguino. The event will see live performances in the form of musical storytelling and a dark disco DJ set by Lisbon’s Ave Maria.
In the weeks leading up to show – thanks to assistance from friend, co-curator, artist, and creative catalyst Firouz FarmanFarmaian – Shadi and Samer share artistic intricacies offering insight to their various projects presented at EXT. / INT. INT. / EXT. this August.
Co-founder of the Newark Print Shop in New Jersey, New York City-based artist and graphic designer Samer Fouad (pictured above) has showcased his work worldwide, from New York to Tokyo, to Budapest. While studying graphic design, he considers himself a mixed media artist, combining sculpture, video, graphic design, photography, digital collage, and various printmaking methods. Playing on structures, and inspired by architecture under Bauhaus, Samer looks to create a visual landscape for the 21st century with his double identity.
Samer Fouad – Left: ‘Brutal’ (2018); Right: ‘Firework’d’ (2018)
Samer Fouad – Left: ‘The Line of Great Divide’ (2019); Right: ‘Digitized’ (2019)
Tehran-born, London-based interdisciplinary artist Shadi Rezaei (pictured above) received her BA in Graphic Design from the University of Art in Tehran in 2009, and her MFA Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts (a constituent college of the University of the Arts London) in London in 2017. Her international presence captivates the world as it manifests via many mediums – from panels and publications, to a sundry of group exhibitions and auctions in countries including United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Monaco and Dubai.
Shadi Rezaei – 245 Degrees of Freedom #6
The artistic narratives she wishes to communicate determine the medium she chooses to work in. And at the upcoming EXT. / INT. INT. / EXT. at NVM Gallery in August, Shadi will illustrate her artistic dexterity across a kaleidoscope of mediums. Look forward to her video installation called When the Curtain Falls, a photographic series titled 245 Degrees of Freedom, and a collection of mixed media on canvas, entitled I am Not I, Nor am I.
To add to the rising anticipation currently resonating through the streets of Spain, I’m delighted to share with you insider info from Shadi herself, bringing a new level of depth to two projects she’ll be showcasing in Marbella, namely I am Not I, Nor am I and When the Curtain Falls.
Shadi Rezaei – I am Not I, Nor am I #6
Her multimedia project I am Not I, Nor am I is based on performance and photography work which began in 2011. The title is inspired by a poem from Rumi, which reads:
Master; don’t say I am “I”
I am not “I”, nor am I
If you are you and I am I
I am not “I”, I am the “Not-I”
Unpacking thematics of self, Shadi discerns how the “status of place and time of birth enforces an identity on any human being,” observing, further, how “clothing perhaps acts as the first visible and judgmental aspect of a person and is a superficial identity.”
“Clothing,” she remarks, “has a powerful influence on us and more importantly on the eyes of others. This superficial identity shrouds the real identity on any human being.” For I am Not I, Nor am I she made a series of white bridal dresses (a common symbol of pure femininity) with puffy sleeves and long tails. On them she wrote stories referring to different works from Rumi and Dante: Two philosophers, one from the East and one from the West. She then searched to find ordinary men to wear her dresses, and, based on the story she conveyed to them, they acted instinctively.
Shadi Rezaei – When the Curtain Falls #1
“The secrets eternal neither you know nor I
And answers to the riddle neither you know nor I
Behind the veil (curtain) there is much talk about us, why
When the Curtain falls, neither you remain nor I” *
*The English version translated by Fitzgerald
Inspired by words (read above) from Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet Omar Khayyam, “the sound and video installation When the Curtain Falls is a journey into the beautiful yet unknown mindset of any woman’s life”, the artist shares.
The subject – naked but oft sporting a Chador (or a veil) – is “suspended in space, hanging from an unknown provenance; in a limbo situation.” But while “the ropes limit the subject’s ability to move, they also prevent her from falling.” This contradictory tone underpins the series’ broader narrative which “negotiates the relationship between seemingly paradoxical notions like Pain and Pleasure; Power and Strength; Stability and Uncertainty; and Fluidity and Solidity.”
Shadi Rezaei – When the Curtain Falls #0
Shadi divulges how “this art of suspension in space with ropes comes from the Japanese technique of Shibari [an ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage].” With a contemporary embracing of ancient techniques in motion, the installation engages the viewer in a hands-on homage to the artist’s Iranian heritage by echoing notes of tradition in the materials used. “A veil or rope,” Shadi reveals, “is often illustrated in Persian poetry.
Unpacking visceral metaphors, “the Veil,” Shadi explains, “represent limitation; a barrier, a restriction or constraint.” However, “the biggest limitation and restriction”, Shadi stresses, “is always our inner-self and our internal battle to find the answers to questions about our existence.” By raising questions which seek to better understand ubiquitous themes (around identity, for instance), Shadi, applying ingenuity, grit and grace, captures and shares the inclusive tone of artistic freedom, also strengthening the interactive element of the work.
Adding nuance to her artistic narrative, Shadi says “the sensual feeling of a nude body, while tied up by rope like a cocoon and suspended from the ceiling, is analogous to the metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly.” This upcoming leading Iranian artist points out that while “the subject herself is not directly responsible for being suspended, the source of the ropes is the central core which keeps her afloat and alive,” adding “it’s like the connection from a mother to fetus.”
Shadi Rezaei – When the Curtain Falls #5
Engaging the viewer – distorting perceptions – When the Curtain Falls is filmed from multiple angles with background narrative fusion music infusing the space in-between. “Everything in this video is based on circular form,” says Shadi, before concluding with a poetic, congruous reflection: “The music is like a circle of life, which starts slowly and goes high and back to the starting point.”
Through her art, and with courage and compassion, Shadi instills a sense of harmony to the bigger picture – asking the right questions about identity and the philosophy of existence, in the gallery room and well beyond.
As you embark on your own journey of discovery and celebration – walking, singing, and dancing in harmony to the circle of life – keep your perceptions fresh, be kind and smile with your eyes. And when stumbling across inner conflicts and external challenges, remember these words from Rumi: ‘Come out of the circle of time And into the circle of love.’ To love, which prevails all.
Take a look at some of the selected artwork from Shadi and Samer, and, if you’re holidaying in Spain this summer, make sure to get NVM Gallery in Marbella for WRTN’s EXT. / INT. INT. / EXT. show in August.
Shadi Rezaei – 245 Degrees of Freedom #4
Shadi Rezaei – I am Not I, Nor am I #5
Shadi Rezaei – 245 Degrees of Freedom #7
Samer Fouad (pictured above and below) illustrates his love for photography, design and architectecture
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