We are a group of around 12 art students from the class of Prof. Natascha Sadr Haghighian at HfK Bremen. We are collaborating with another group of art students from the class of Hito Steyerl at UdK Berlin for a project where we explore the connection between art and oil. To that end we are planning a 14-day excursion to Iran in November 2016, where we will link up to a group of local independent artists.
Together we will travel by bus from Tehran to Isfahan, Shiraz and Abadan in the south of the country. We will visit important historical sites, such as Persepolis, as well as the refineries of Abadan. Along the bus trip, we will all make short presentations in which the centre of our encounter shall be artistic exchange and discussion.
To realise this trip we would be grateful for your support!
Over this past year we have organized several workshops in Bremen and Berlin, focusing on contemporary Iranian and international artists working on the topic of oil production. Going to Iran will be the last chapter of this project. A picture by Chris Marker became a kind of leitmotif for our quest. He juxtaposed the ruins of Persepolis and the oil refineries of Abadan (1957), revealing a striking visual connection between the past and present of Iran.
We hope to learn how history and modernity can form a distinctive artistic tradition, how ways of a subtle language are developed. To us, the mutual exchange is of central importance. How will it be to enter another country and collaborate with artists from there, knowing that they will not easily be able to just return our visit and come to Germany? How is an exchange actually possible? How important is the “language” of art? In which ways can it be voiced? Which kinds of diverse paths can art travel on? And which role does the “Black Gold” of oil play for the flourishing of culture in Iran? Which answers and possibilities can arise from the artistic engagement given the forceful, abstract power of oil?
We will collect and reflect our experiences. The exchange will be based on workshops, lectures, the roundtrip of Iran, discussions, new suggestions and stimuli in the process, which will be developed throughout the journey.