deutsche Version

Press releases

Far Near Distance
Contemporary Positions of Iranian Artists
Far Near Distance
19 March – 9 May 2004

The need to constantly establish new positions in a country with so many contradictions and restrictions has infused a powerful dynamic into the development of artistic expression in Iran. By means of new strategies, artists and intellectuals living in Iran are continually exploring and testing their boundaries and courageously fighting for space. Politics and cultural production come up against one another. In the process, a new artistic language is formulated. At the same time, Iranian artists living outside the country are accepting artistic developments in Iran as a challenge. The House of World Cultures’ spring programme, Far Near Distance, is devoted to these innovative strategies.

This series of events, which will be running from 19 March to 9 May, includes a central exhibition and a major series of films, as well as concerts, theatre performances, readings and workshops. It is the first programme of its kind in Germany to provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse positions held by artists of Iranian descent.

The programme was conceived and developed in close co-operation with the Iranian-Lebanese curator, Rose Issa, who lives in London. Rose Issa is one of the leading experts on the fine arts and film of the Middle East. In her work as curator, she focuses upon the specific artistic language that has evolved in Iran, and which has accumulated even greater energy within the international Iranian network. Its language is simple and to the point, bringing paradoxical conditions to a head. It draws on Persian traditions, and captures lived experience in powerful symbols, complex metaphors and poetry. It raises vital questions using the ordinary symbols commonplace to everyday life, fusing reality and fiction, which both confuse and at the same time produce novel works. Although the artists are emotionally very committed to their work, they display a cool restraint, and maintain distance by means of irony, sarcasm and humour – thus sustaining the tension, which holds this “far near distance” together.

Among the artists are such great names as Shirin Neshat, Siah Armajani, Parastou Forouhar, Abbas Kiarostami – to name but a few – who have attracted attention throughout the world. Young talents, hitherto unknown in Germany, will also be appearing, including the rock band O-Hum from Tehran. Commissioned works by young artists, as well as the latest theatre productions from this year’s Fadjr Theatre Festival in Tehran, not only reflect present conditions in Iran, but also give the project an immediacy, if not an urgency.


>>> Fri. 19 March, 7 p.m.
with Shirin Neshat, Bahman Farmanara and others
Music by Mohammad Reza Mortazavi and diverse DJs
Admission free

>>> Sun.21 March,12 a.m.–8 p.m.
Exhibition: admission free, talks with artists in Farsi, stories narrated in German and Farsi, film programme

>>> 20 March – 9 May 2004
Opening times:
Tues. & Wed. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thurs-Sun. 12 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Admission 3. Reduced 1, 50
Guided tours on Sun. at 4 p.m.

>>> Fr. 26 March – Sun. 9 May
Short Film Programme
>>> Sun. 25 April, from 5 p.m.
Theatre Weekend
>>> Thurs. 1 – Sun. 4 April
Performances start at 8 p.m.

Parissa & Dastan Ensemble
>>> Thurs. 25 March, 8 p.m.
>>> Fri. 16 April, 8 p.m.
Axiom of Choice
>>> Sat.17 April, 8 p.m.
>>> Fri. 23. April, 8 p.m.
>>> Sat. 24. April, 8 p.m.
>>> Sat. 1. May, 8 p.m.

Abbas Maroufi/Fereshteh Sari
The Year of the Uprising/Parissa
>>> Tues. 27 April, 7.30 p.m.
Hamid Yavari
Shar-e bazi
>>> Sat. 1 May, 5 p.m.
Reza Ghassemi
Hamnâvai-ye shabâne-ye orkestr-e tshub-hâ
>>> Sat. 1 May, 6 p.m.
Marjan Shirmohammadi
>>> Sun. 2 May, 5 p.m.
Shahrnush Parsipur
The Simple and Small Adventures of the Spirit of the Little Tree
>>> Sun. 2 May, 6 p.m.

Perceiving Iran – Presenting Art
>>> Sat. 20 March, 6 p.m.
Framing and Suspicion
>>> Sat. 27. March, 2 p.m.
Western Demand
>>>Sat. 27. March, 5 p.m.
Performance and Staging
>>> Fri. 23. April, 6 p.m.
In Focus – in the Eye of the Camera
>>> Sat. 24. April,2 p.m.
Regimes of Representation
>>> Sat. 24. April, 4.30 p.m.

„i?“ – Video Project with Sharham Entekhabi
>>> 16 – 20 February
Nouruz– A Festival of the Senses
>>> 18, 19, 23 and 24 March
Depth of Focus – Video Workshops with Directors from Iran
>>> 24 – 26 March
WebStories - live and virtual with Schirin Zareh
>>> 20 – 22 April, 6 p.m.
>>> 23 – 25 April, 4 p.m.
Artist Workshop with Farkhondeh Shahroudi
>>> 27 – 29 April, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Artist Workshop with Abigail Hirsh
>>> 4 – 6 May, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Christine Regus
Pressearbeit > Press Office
Haus der Kulturen der Welt > House of World Cultures
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Deutschland > Germany
Telefon: ++49 30 - 39787 -153
Telefax: ++49 30 - 394 86 79