Recently Ramin Haerizadeh has become well known for collaborations with Rokni Haerizadeh (his brother) and Hesam Rahmanian, for instance in the three-room installation Another Happy Day for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s just-closed Creative Act exhibition. But Ramin Haerizadeh is a potent artist who easily carries a show of his own; GIVDE gave him a rather good solo exhibition way back in 2010, and this one sounds equally as good.
Ramin Haerizadeh’s style is montage, playing with the symbols around us and rearranging them to point out truths that might have been covered up. In particular, he uses found and collected objects and images. As the GIVDE press release for this show puts it, “he collects materials from a wild array of existing printed materials: used cardboard postal box protecting a desired work of art, food plastic packaging, oud boxes or downloaded old films posters from the internet, as well as daily objects such as airport souvenirs, small plastic figurines, anatomic models, miniature Tabasco bottles …
“All these materials are filtered. Haerizadeh photographs them, scans them, prints them, collages them and re-photographs, re-prints them and again re-prints and re-collages them …”
That process of selection and reworking could apply literally to his own work, too: “he refuses to lock up any work in the cellar, the old will give aura to the new. He revisits and reinterprets his earlier work, meditating on the overlapping and contingent nature of the world”.
The results are often playful, frequently theatrical, and generally humorous. They’re insightful too, asking questions about big issues – gender and identity, religious intolerance, media manipulation, political propaganda.
Incidentally, the title comes from a poem by the Polish Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska. There’s another line following that suggests where Ramin Haerizadeh is going with this exhibition:
To be or not to be, that is the question
and though it troubles the digestion
it’s a question, as always, of politics.
This could be one of the shows of the season.
Above: Ramin Haerizadeh, Still Life, 2017. Collage on paper. Below: Ramin Haerizadeh, Son of Godzilla, 2015-17. Paper, oud box, printed plastic, wooden shelf, glass figurine, fake fruits, Tabasco sauce, plastic figures, fake teeth, pine wood mini furniture, anatomically human model and acrylic on canvas