This Friday, Nov. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., Zygote Press proudly presents Behrang Samadzadegan’s Heading Utopia.
"The dynamic presence of Behrang Samadzadegan in our shop and all the places he has visited is like a fresh and invigorating breeze- and it hits everyone who comes into contact with him,” says Zygote Press Executive Director Liz Maugans. “This intelligent artist who devours conversations with many who he connects with has been incredibly rewarding to me especially. He is well educated in historic and global views of how art works-and our community is grateful we had this time with him.”
Behrang Samadzadegan is based in Tehran, Iran, and works in a variety of media, including painting, print, video and installation.
Samadzadegan’s work explores themes of social and cultural identity through the possibility (and impossibility) of the “images” he constructs. The translation of imagery, the concepts conveyed as well as the ones lost in the interpretation, is a major topic of exploration for Samadzadegan.
“My work is based on the idea of translation and how things are codified, particularly Walter Benjamin concepts of translation and Nietzsche's ideas of mediocrity as they relate to the facts of aesthetics,” Samadzadegan explains. “A search for the truth sometimes results in mediocrity. The translation from understanding shifts as I embark in the media that is new to me: printmaking. Historically, this medium is about publishing knowledge as a result of the enlightenment age. This circle of translation from fact, truth, document, images, aesthetic and now printmaking, are all mixed and judged in the scope of art. Art is always cursed with beauty, even when there are painful narratives and ideas. When pain continues, art and poetry can also. Add to that, a changing and completely different cultural context-therefore the beauty reigns and the pain never can truly reveal itself.”
Offering insight into the challenges of image-making, he continues, “Many of the works, especially the prints, don't convey any of the content of aesthetics or beauty. They are all information about historical facts appropriated from the contemporary society that I am living in. They are changed to a different metaphoric language of image-making, thus they don't directly inform the audience and things are lost in translation. These are the disabilities of an image.”
During his residency, Behrang Samadzadegan has worked with the drawing and painting departments at Cleveland Institute of Art and the Shaker Hts. Boys and Girls Club, as well as visiting classes at Case Western Reserve University and St. Martin de Porre.
He will be part of a special panel discussion at MOCA Cleveland on Nov. 9.
Heading Uptopia remains on view through Nov. 21 during Zygote’s regular business hours and by appointment.
And speaking of Creative Fusion artists…
Before returning to Chile, Adolfo Bimer, the Cleveland Print Room’s current Creative Fusion artist-in-residence, presents new work created during his time in Cleveland.
His paintings examine and explore “the material and metaphorical Innerness of the human body.” Bimer is interested in the development of medical imaging technology (x-rays, microscopy, scans and even anatomical drawing) as tools to understand our inner body we would otherwise never see.
"My work for this exhibition originates from my interest in examining the body and its' interior,” explains Bimer. “I have been working with MetroHealth during this Creative Fusion residency this Fall. The majority of the medical scans are related somehow to Cleveland people who have sustained gunshots and violence to their skulls. The images for my show use medical scans as their source."
Bimer’s SCANS opens with a reception this Friday, Nov. 6 from 5 to 9 p.m. He will give a gallery talk Saturday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. The exhibitions and all related events are free.
"Adolfo's work culled from medical scans is both terrible and beautiful,” reveals Shari Wilkins, Executive Director of the Cleveland Print Room. “The x-rays, CT scans and MRI images that he uses are the result of a dreadful situation. I find myself drawn to the concept of 'beauty in the face of violence' that exists in his work. His examination of the human body, that is present in his body of work is quite extraordinary. It is what he is known for in the art scene in Santiago, Chile."
(Zygote Press) 1410 E. 30th St., 216-621-2900, zygotepress.com
(Cleveland Print Room) 2550 Superior Ave., 216-401-5981, clevelandprintroom.com
As the Cleveland Foundation’s Fall 2015 Creative Fusion residencies conclude at the end of this month, artists from around the world and their host organizations are presenting exhibitions in celebration of the work created during their residencies. This Friday, Zygote Press, Cleveland Print Room and Waterloo Arts all host receptions for their Creative Fusion artists.