Category: Events


Photos of Performance at Arteh Gallery

Catharsis Literary Performance Statement

Catharsis brings cutartists back home. They believe in the essential cathartic function of artworks in Iran and that is why they call themselves cutartists: artists who cut, which is what they do: cutting cardboards to create spaces where performance can happen. That’s the general idea. This general idea might go against art proper. And hence, the name of the group: /a:t/BrE, i.e. art with British pronunciation written in phonetics.

The group came out of a class Bavand Behpoor taught in Tehran. When the course was finished the students were invited to come together outside the institution to investigate the practical side of performance, which had received little attention in the class. The group was founded on the basis of certain agreements: firstly, we believe in the potentials of contemporary art. Secondly, all cutartists think it is possible to produce in Iran original and authentic ‘art’ in the proper sense of the word as long as they maintain a direct connection to their situation. Thirdly, they believe wit and joy are essential to being contemporary. Fourthly, they prefer ordinary people as audience, although they are not ordinary themselves. Fifthly, they give process priority over product and want their group to be art in itself. (Hence the name of the group.) Sixthly, they believe enjoying what you do is a must. Seventhly, bluh bluh, anybody can be an artist but not all ideas are worth performing. Eighthly, there is no reason to do personally what you can do collectively. Ninthly, art must be built. Tenthly, it is gorgeous to be a performer!

Musical Performance in Parkingallery, Tehran

The musical performance took place at Parkingallery, Tehran, on 1st and 2nd of March 2012. Audience had to book in advance and buy tickets after the performance was finished. They would pay for the performance according to their satisfaction with what they heard.

Video Invitation Card for Participation in Musical Performance


Video: Hossein Hosseini

Presented by Performance Matters, a collaboration between Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Roehampton, and the Live Art Development Agency financially assisted by AHRC. Documentation by Christa Holka.

Video of Workshop in Shiraz

Video of Workshop in Bandar Abbas

Video of Workshop in Mashhad

Video of Workshop in Isfahan

Video of Musical Performance in Tehran

The following was read out by Augusto Corrieri on behalf of Bavand Behpoor and /a:t/BrE group, while wearing a cardboard box on his head, at Trashing Performance programme held at Toynbee Studios, London on 28 Oct. 2011. The videos cited in the text can be viewed using the the tab ‘video’ from the menu.

Augusto Corrieri Reading out Bavand Behpoor’s cutartistic text

These musical instruments where invented by cutartists for a performance on the back of a truck the images of which you see in another post. All instruments combine in one creating a large box which covers the audience.

The idea was to perform underground music over ground in a private space moving within public space! The audience where chosen from the street and they would listen to cardboard musical instruments played for them behind a truck. This happened on 26 Oct. 2011.

Statement for Second Workshop in Qazvin

 This text was to be inclued in the bulletin of the festival but was excluded for unknown reasons!

On the Art of Recycling

What art and recycling share is a process through which artwork/trash is produced: a commodity freed from its initial function turning into something different: a burnt object. The difference is that such precedure is done consciously in art. By accommodating a meaning, the object receives a new identity and justifies its preservation and commerce. Art of Recycling is probably not an exact term for this, for, here, garbage refers not to its initial use as a consumed product. The re-use does not happen in a physical form, rather a meaning is annexed to the object. A new destiny is formed for the object through a subjective change in the producer and the consumer. Probably Re-Commodification is a better term: we here confront a subjective change giving the object utility.

Report of Second Workshop in Qazvin

You can access the pdf version of the report here.

The proposal was written by Hossein Hosseini and carried out with the help of Shaghayegh Ghasemi.

The idea behind the festival was to make artworks out of recycled material and was done in two sections: by locals and invited artists. /a:t/BrE participated in the second section. Artworks consisted of sculptures, readymades, installations and performances.

The concept behind our project was to create a cardboard museums comprising of cardboard kiosks placed in different locations through the site. The kiosks provided room for viewers and had filters making new readings of the artworks presented outside possible attracting attention from artworks to themselves.

Kiosk No. 1:

It had three filters engaging with three artworks at the same time.

a) Chromatic filter: with the help of coloured glasses the colours of part of an installation was filtered.

b) Expansion of viewing angle: left eye aims at a sculpture while the right eye sees an artwork through a periscope from an unusual perspective. In other words, two artworks in different places are seen as one.

c) The third filter obstructs the view. Although it is aimed at an artwork it displays something different. On the end there is mirror with lines on it. On top, it is written, ‘We present your portrait as an artwork.’ Each filter has a instruction next to it explaining how it works.

Kiosk No. 2:

This kiosk was designed for the non-visual (musical) section of the festival. It contains a sound filter. A cardbaord in-let extends from both sides of the kiost. It is filled with bits of cardboard and has a lid on one end which opens and closes with the wind. The walls are isolated acoustically with egg cartons.

Qazvin Second Recycle Art Festival

/a:t/BrE and Ejra-Gostaran-Moaser Performance Art Company participated from 18th to 20th Oct. in Qazvin Second Recycled Art Festival leaded by Hossein Hosseini and Shaghayegh Ghasemi. The idea of their construction was a cardboard museum framing the artworks of other participants.

Mashhad Workshop Photos

Report of Workshop in Mashhad

Get the report of Mashhad Workshop in pdf from here.

The way we deliver speeches

This post in Persian gives an example of how we not only try to do art and develop concepts collectively, but also how we try to pluralize our speeches and presentations. The Persian text is a kind of a screenplay for three panelists who presented at Mashhad workshop.

Recycling Festival in Qazvin

/a:t/BrE was invited to attend the Festival of Art of Recycle from 18 to 21 Nov. 2010 in Qazvin where artworks had to be made with recycled material (in our case: cardboards). Hossein Hosseini, Hadis Aghakhanbeygi and Mohammad Hossein Abdoli participated on behalf of the group. In this case, the concept of the structurl was not developed collectively rather by Hossein Hosseini. The structurl is a huge intestine throughwhich text highlighted by the visiters pass.

See photos of the festival at Fars News Agency websitehere.

Poster by Hossein Hosseini for workshop in Isfahan with the subject of  ‘Interactive Art’. The subject of the workshop was to design an artwork for a cat.

Workshop in Isfahan

Installation Art and Subjective Space in Tooba Cultural Centre, Bandar Abbas

From 18 to 19 Sept. 2010, workshop participants guided by nine cutartists from Tehran, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas and Yazd turned a gallery space into a subjective one: that of Marmeladov, a pratagonist of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. The gallery walls served as the pratagonist’s skull, the installation as his mental construction guiding viewers through the same mental procedure that he experiences and narrates in the second chapter of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece.

Installation Art and Subjectivity of Space

Given at Tooba Cultural Centre, Bandar Abbas, Fri. 17th Sept. 2010 The lecture tried to give a brief sketch of installation art and its place in contemporary art and how it relates to the idea of ‘space’. It also attempted at tracing a relationship between performance art and installation maintaining that the space of installation is always a ‘subjective’ space understood through performance. The workshop in the following day aimed at creating a installation that would occupy the whole exhibition space and perform on the viewer when the exhibition was inaugurated.

Nine Performance Boxes

The workshop, the report of which is also posted on website, resulted in the creation of nine performance boxes. Each of the boxes created new means for transmission of a single phenomenon through an unusual medium. Six cutartists, mentioned below, led the groups while Bavand Behpoor and Hadis Aghakhan Beigi acted as the link between the groups.

Group One

Cutartist leaders: Zahra Hosseini, Hossein Hosseini

Creators: Mehrnoosh Borna, Arezoo Soleymani, Sahar Sha’bani, Marzieh Hooshmand, Mehdi Ravandi, Behrooz Moslemi, Mahboobeh Nasiri, Sahar Vatanzadeh, Mohammad Sayyar, Shirin Cheraghzadeh

Box 1

Allowing transmission of kisses through palpation mediator. The transmitter holds a small air bag in his hand and reads out a love letter that turns aggressive through time!

Box 2

Allowing transmission of torture. The tortured can leave notes on cardboard knifes informing the torturer about the pain caused.

Box 3

Allowing transmission of an algorithm. When the pinhole on one side is covered, the other participant understands it as a signal. However, the algorithms written on two sides are different, thus resulting in a misreading of the signals transmitted: one participant is asked to transmit through several signals the answer to this question: ‘who is most beautiful among your nieces and nephews?’ while she is ignorant of the fact that her answers are actually determining the fate of the person on the other side of the box: she will be destined to a certain punishment according to the answers the other participant gives.

Group Two

Cutartist leaders: Zahra Sadat Tabataba’i, Roxana Piroozmand

Creators: Maryam Jahandarpoor, Mahsa Kajoori, Mehrooz Naghshinehfard, Pejhman Shahali, Mohammad Reza Poormoghaddam, Mohammad Javad Zareh, Shayan Salari, Nastaran Khajeh, Tannaz Shams

Box 4

Allowing transmission of a notion through touching of hands.

Box 5

Allowing transmission of silence through an interruption of a counting process. As one performer counts aloud, another performer counts numbers into his ears.

Box 6

Allowing transmission of narcissism through asking questions and caressing the replier’s foot regardless of the given answer.

Group Three

Cutartist leaders: Mansooreh Panahbarkhoda, Hamid Reza Sadeghi

Creators: Esmail Bazparan, Hamed Salehizadeh, Narges Rafiee Ayyoobloo, Fatemeh Jahangiri, Elnaz Abdollahi, Pegah Pashangeh, Babak Bafahm, Zahra Khosheghbal, Behamin Boostani, Fatemeh Eksiri Box 7

Allowing transmission of lust through palpatory mediator. One performer inserts his hands into holes perforated in the box, the other rubs his hands with different bags (greasy, soft, warm) filled with water.

Box 8

Allowing transmission of philosophy through alteration of a meaningless text (palimpsest?).

Box 9

Allowing verbal communication but with human interference. Inside the middle box, sits a cutartist who alters texts thrown into the box before passing it to the other side.

Lecture at Howzeh Honari Institute in Shiraz

On 5th Aug. 2010, a lecture by Bavand Behpoor titled ‘Performance as Art and Theoretical Framework’ was hold at Howzeh Honari Institute in Shiraz. This was followed in the next day by a workshop, the report of which is accessible on the website. The Persian text of the lecture can be accessed on the corresponding page. The following is an excerpt of the lecture:

Goethe summarizes five philosophical doctrines related to performativity as Faust tries to translate the New Testament into German: ‘In the beginning was the Word . . .’

‘Tis writ, ‘In the beginning was the Word.’

I pause, to wonder what is here inferred.

The Word I cannot set supremely high:

A new translation I will try.

I read, if by the spirit I am taught,

This sense: ‘In the beginning was the Thought.’

This opening I need to weigh again,

Or sense may suffer from a hasty pen.

Does Thought create, and work, and rule the hour?

‘Twere best: ‘In the beginning was the Power.’

Yet, while the pen is urged with willing fingers.

A sense of doubt and hesitancy lingers.

The spirit comes to guide me in my need,

I write ‘In the beginning was the Deed.’

(J.W.Goethe (1976) Faust: Part One (London: Penguin), p.71.)

In short, Faust is trying nominalism, Cartesiansim, Nietzschean philosophy and performativity to make sense of this line in Saint John. His act of translation and scripture is also in itself a reference to the problem of necessity and free will.

Cutartists’ workshop in Shiraz was held on 5th Aug. 2010 at Howzeh Honari Institute. 30 attendants were divided into three groups each led by two cutartists. Eight cutartists from Yazd, Isfahan and Tehran had come together to make this event possible. Bavand Behpoor and Hadis Aghakhanbeigi acted as the link between the groups.

The workshop consisted of five stages. In the first, each group was to build out of cardboard three boxes measuring 100*100*40cm. In the second stage, the participants had to think of a list of phenamena to transfer through the boxes and how the design of a box can make this transmission indirect and via a new medium. Then, each group had to choose three of ideas and redesigned boxes accordingly.  In the third phase, the boxes were transformed through additions and omissions.

In the fourth phase, two participants from another group would test the function of boxes in front of the whole participants.

In the fifth and final stage, the works of all groups were put together to form a different project. The boxes created a single machine with several entrances through which different objects were inserted. The outputs were amazing!

Workshop in Shiraz

A workshop for Howzeh Honari in Shiraz will be held on 4th and 5th Aug. 2010 with six members of the group. The eight-hours workshop on 5th will follow a lecture by Bavand Behpoor on Performance Art on 4th Aug.