Ramin Haerizadeh: Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home
Curated by Abaseh Mirvali
“Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home”, presented at OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin, aims to unveil the artistic practice of Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian by focusing on their methodology, communication, and construction of their works. Over the past few decades, Ramin, Rokni, and Hesam have shared a life philosophy that has allowed for mutual creation, during which their individual practices interact with their collaborative ones and which is informed by the understanding and technical skills of other people. From the dialogues they build among themselves and with other artists, friends, and collaborators—including stage director Joan Baixas, robotic engineer John Cole, community artist Niyaz Azadikhah, and writer and film producer Mandana Mohit—these artists have established a personal language that has enabled them to present different layers of content and texture in their work.
Aware that their practice does not only encompass what they do but also the contributions of other individuals, from other artists to carpenters, technicians, and lighting designers, these artists refuse the concept of the genius Artist. They prefer to acknowledge everyone who becomes part of their working process, as they believe that through their individual participation, everyone, collaboratively, creates a shared environment that enables them to coexist while contributing to the making of something new; for instance, an exhibition. In other words, these participants share their methodologies, ways of thought and working, and thereby build up a unique sensibility, which allows for the creation of something new.
As part of their collaborative practice, the artists create a series of alter egos that allow them to play with their individual identities, working with themes related to language, empty space, power, transformation, belonging, displacement, exile, pain, and destruction. Their creatures, as they call them, live in documentary videos about their creative processes but also in video performances that constitute artworks in themselves. These characters tend to be anthropomorphic—phytomorphs or zoomorphs—with some kind of sensory or motor limitation that, according to the artists, allows them to hone their other senses. Thus, little persons with rodent noses and ears, fish tails, or lettuce heads become protagonists in a fictitious world that enters the realm of the viewer via a live performance or the physical presentation of an artwork made by the creatures. Reinterpreting the practice of the objet trouvé, when they are creatures, the artists select a series of well-used objects from their everyday life in order to tell their story. Worn, battered, or forgotten objects are reinvented in a parallel world where they acquire new meanings. As they materialize the fictional in their reuse of discarded objects, the creatures provide subtle, sometimes opaque, readings of our contemporary societies.
The current exhibition does not seek to be a retrospective or a survey of the artists’ oeuvre, but rather a demonstration of how they embrace their practice and heterogeneous sense of creation. “Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home” is an attempt to show the work of Ramin, Rokni, and Hesam from a perspective that observes the mechanisms through which their collaborative practice is conveyed but also how it is formed during a creative process that exalts a working philosophy based on a shared reality and the inclusion of others.