Photographer:Maryam Firuzi
Continent: Asia
Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of
Project Title: scattered memories of a distorted future
Project Continent: Asia
Project Country: Iran
Nominated By: Lars Boering
Seconded By: Simon Newton,

This series is about losing my faith in creation artwork. On January 8, 2020, when I found out the Ukrainian airplane had crashed in Tehran and all its 176 passengers and crew had died, I fell into a deep silence of grief and despair. Since then, different sorts of unfortunate events have come: political turbulence, a water crisis, recession, the immigration of my family members and friends, and the COVID pandemic to top it all off. When I wake up in the morning, I am like a demolished site, and everything seems to be in ruins: myself, my family, my friends, my relationships, my city, my country. The suffering we endure manifests itself in the language of ruins. As an artist, amid all this suffering (the language of the present), I hope to find how artistic creation can be healing, inspiring, and effective. What effect does the artist have on this state of ruin? What role do we have in the ruins of mankind’s constructions/creations?

In this series, ruins have become a metaphor for pain. Here, between a silent past and a distorted future, I invited female painters to paint what they like in abandoned places; a painting on the masculine history, a picture on the face of the past, and an unanswered question for the future.

Hejazi Sister

Manijeh and Parisa Hejazi are sisters and always work together on their paintings in their studio They painted together on the wall of an abandoned coffee house in the suburb of Tehran In 2020 Hejazi sisters started collaborating together Having come from two different artistic backgrounds i e Graphic Design and Painting they merged their unique abilities into a novel and creative form of art

Raziyeh Iranpoor

Razieh Iranpour painted on the wall of an abandoned train station from the first Pahlavi era she painting for many years is getting ready for her first solo exhibition in Tehran To be successful and independent she has gone through a long and difficult journey She who has spent her life creating art and teaching painting to the new generation is a symbol of independence and freedom for me

Sorahi Rafati

Sorahi Rafati painted on a billboard of a one-hundred-year-old theater which has been closed since the Islamic revolution Sorahi has recently held her successful solo exhibition in one of Tehran s galleries She who her dreams are summed up in art and talks about a new idea every time I see her Her mind is full of fantasies and innovation that she expresses through painting

Nazjme Kazazi

Najmeh Kazazi painted on the wall of an abandoned garage in the center of Tehran This garage has been vacant since the revolution and a watchman along with his family lives here to prevent addicts from transpassing The guard collects and keeps pigeons for fun as he does not have much work all day Najmeh has had a difficult time in the last two years due to problems and painting has played a saving role for her She an inspiring painter in the Iranian art scene believes that we create art to save ourselves because our own salvation might lead to the salvation of the world

Fateme Eslamyan

Fatemeh Eslamyan painted on the wall of a 70-year-old gas station office that has been abandoned for 30 years This place was used to be run by female employees before the revolution Now it has been guarded by stray dogs for many years Fatemeh practicing painting since she was a teenager has recently changed her painting style and believes that one should always seek new experiences in life Recently she has given up on figurative painting and she is experimenting with abstractive style She loves Iran and immigration is the last thing on her mind She believes that there is always hope for the improvement and construction of her country

Soudeh Davoud

Soudeh Davoud painted on the wall of an apartment in the heart of Tehran being evacuated for years The inhabitants of this apartment had witnessed many demonstrations as it has a view to one of the main and important streets of Tehran she is a contemporary visual artist whose work articulates the characteristics of figurative painting as well as the expressive abilities of abstract art

Sahar Nahavandi

Sahar Nahavandi painted on the wall of a burned school which is about to be demolished for new construction This school has not been working for 30 years and is located in one of the most prosperous streets of Tehran Sahar has been drawing and painting an integral part of her life for years After giving birth Motherhood became the most important theme of her works and she addressed it in her recent solo exhibition

Tarlan Tabar

Tarlan painted on the wall of a public bath which had been turned into a hay barn for some time Tarlan has spent all her time in her painting studio for the last two years and rarely goes out due to the epidemic Believing in the political struggle for freedom and change she writes and informs on social media against the current situation For her painting is a window to the past and to the collective memories of the people of her homeland

Zahra Shafei

Zahra Shafie has painted on the wall of a passenger boat on deserted islands in northern Iran Ashuradeh Island in northern Iran which some of its inhabitants left thirty years ago due to floods is now completely deserted due to drought and low water in Gorgan Bay The island which once supplied half of the world s caviar is now like a land of ghosts due to environmental changes She is a figurative painter and the relationship between man and his body and his relationship with nature is a major concern for her Despite being censored in Iran she is an active painter and tries to transfer works that she cannot display in Iran abroad

pooneh Oshidari

Pooneh Oshidari painted on the wall of a 150-year-old house that belonged to a master of mysticism and philosophy from the era of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar and is located in one of the oldest streets of Tehran The house has been abandoned for 40 years and its owner lives in the United States Pooneh is an international painter and her works are influenced by her researches on Persian ancient culture and myths In addition she is very concerned about the environment and the reference to nature is prominent in her works