fresh air of freedom is blowing through an open
door for some women in Iran, whose breath of liberation
is felt in an art exhibit opened last week in
The creator of "Fresh Air" Mahmaz Pasikhani,
is from the "30+" group of Persian artists
whose exhibition has been in place at Hayart cultural
center in Yerevan. That group was created in 2000
and it is the first post-revolution painters group
of such modern genres of art.
"When you want fresh air, first of all you
open a door," Mahmaz says. "Women, pictured
on the door, conquered that open door, which is
regarded as their striving for freedom and independence.
This door and the frame are taken from an old
house and they symbolize traditions. It means
that women must stay at home and take care of
children and do the cooking.
"The more you move away from Tehran, the
more women are pressed. But these days women stood
up and want to become equal with men. Comparing
with previous generations today there are more
places for women's activities in Iran. The fact
that I and many women came here and organized
exhibitions means many things. Now we are in the
process of passing through that door."
The "30+" group, most of which are
females, indicates that in Iran women seek freedom
more than men.
of many authors are titled as "Untitled";
those works represent public problems. Untitled
is Shahnaz Zehtab's blue triangle pictured on
the floor. In the center of that triangle there
are small statues of blue legs symbolizing nationals
and directed upwards to the corner of that triangle,
where a chair is placed symbolizing authorities.
Visitors were pleased not only with the idea but
also with consistency of blue legs and old-fashioned
chair in the structure of that triangle, with
edges covered with traces leading to the chair
and again returning. An inscription completes
the message: "Is this somebody's place? Does
the truth lie in the fact that this is somebody's
place? Or it is a shadow of somebody's place?"
And the message is meant to suggest that the authorities
are transient like the footsteps.
"We are the first group of artists that
united and wants to represent art which is out
of ideologies and pathos," mentions Shahnaz.
"We are in opposition to State-sponsored
The installation of Hadi Jamal represents a blade
of an electrical saw hung from the ceiling under
which is a stack of white fingers. But the piece
is spared a gruesome effect because instead of
blood the fingers are surrounded by white medical
cotton so that the work doesn't directly criticize
violence but moreso symbolizes a striving for
Several works are made with the help of electronics
and sound effects.
Fereidoon Omidi presented two TVs. A woman on
the screen of one of the TV monitors talks with
a man who is on the screen of the second TV. Their
conversation however is deafened by the loud sounds
of the noisy streets of a city coming from the
background. The demand of communication between
people is wrecked by the pressure of the big city.
"There is much in common between these works
and the works of Armenian artists," says
artist Nazareth Karoyan. "I don't mean mainly
thematic similarities but similarities of rhythm,
dynamics, usage of technologies and combination
of mobile and immobile. And this is not so much
regional but temporal similarities."