Sumac Space

Dialogues Exhibitions About Artists' rooms

Present Continuous

07.10.2020 - 01.12.2020

Curated by

Katharina Ehrl & Davood Madadpoor

Present continuous is the first of a three-part online exhibition that brings together artists from the Middle East. Our history, identity and collective memory are built upon a collection of objects, documents, stories and experiences. What connects the works in these three exhibitions is the artistic practice that marks a tension by interrogating and recasting everyday objects and events to draw out their relationships to contemporary experience in a landscape of successive social and political change. Apart from the imminent need to consider the historical context out of which this current state of affairs has emerged, the chosen works reflect on contemporaneity as a concept that captures the frictions of the present.

Everyday life is a crust of earth over the tunnels and caves of the unconscious and against a skyline of uncertainty and illusion… while overhead stretch the Heavens of Permanence…

Henri Lefebvre

Present continuous puts emphasis on three aspects that interact and—partly consciously, partly unconsciously—influence our lives with varying levels of intensity: everyday life, media and transformation. Thinking about everyday life seems too banal but contemporaneity, and hence our everyday life, is a mix of origin, transition and an unknowable future. Media is a major element within society. Its development and social change are related, since the development has accompanied an increase in the complexity of societal actions and engagements. The exhibited artists work through all these impacts and changes, reflect and take up these events, which have become so ordinary for us that we almost classify them as commonplace. Present continuous is an invitation to pay close attention to the artists’ tireless concern with topics that we know very little about and (mostly) do not actively participate in, which nevertheless have a profound effect on our lives.

_ Katharina Ehrl / Davood Madadpoor

Participant artists: Benji Boyadgian, b. 1983, Jerusalem. Taha Heydari, b. 1986 Tehran Iran. Lives and works in Baltimore. Farzaneh Hosseini, b. 1984, Tehran Iran. Christine Kettaneh, b. 1982, Beirut Lebanon. Siavash Naghshbandi, b. 1987, Tehran Iran. Timo Nasseri, b. 1972, Berlin Germany. Anahita Razmi, b. 1981, Hamburg Germany. Lives and works between Berlin and London.

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