EXHIBITION AS EDITING EXERCISE
A project by NADER KOOCHAKI winner of MOP CAP 2015
Curator: MIKA SAVELA
Exhibition Open: 10 - 17 November 2016
Tehran is a city both forged and forgotten by modernity. The ever-present hum of traffic, the continuous movement of people, the breathing of heavy, combusted air. Not only the mobile vehicles, but solidified infrastructures, pavements, highway exits, footbridges and construction sites – as well as the human adaptations and appropriations of space around them – seem to find varied, intermixed, negotiated ways of co-existence. In the mixture, the Chaloos Road, an engineering triumph, a motorway carved through the mountains escaping out of Tehran to the Caspian Sea, turns into an umbilical extension of urban life. Extracted from the earth itself, bitumen is rolled everywhere as the surface for modernity, offered as crude cure for the city’s mobility.
Exhibition as Editing Excercise by Nader Koochaki, is a special project created for the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOP CAP) 2015 winner’s exhibition.
Constructed around a discussion with Iranian architect and urban planner Mohammed Reza Haeri, the project documents and brings to display the work-in-progress, the past and on-going accumulation of research for Nader Koochaki’s Asphalt Roll – charting the urban practices and contemporary movements of Tehran and its adjacent geographies. In this context, Exhibition as Editing Exercise studies and further speculates with an editorial process as a platform for artistic research and dissemination, where travels, events, discourses and observations presented as displays of photography, gathered objects and artefacts are shown in the process of entering and leaving the pages of a book, hovering between the representational space of the display and the peripheral space beyond the cropmarks.
As the editorial space crosses borders with the exhibition, occupying the floors of the gallery, it also knowingly allows the public to enter into its editorial frame. Thus, the following outcome, Exhibition as Editing Exercise as a book, brings into focus the dualities and breadth of artistic research as a constellation of work that often finds itself beyond conventional or conclusive formats and timelines.
Informed by a background in Sociology, Nader Koochaki’s (Spain/Iran) practice has been characterized by the intention to develop a language to overcome the restrictions and obligations of academia. Much of his work consists of research lines that combine field work and the archival.
He has studied some phenomena that verge on the border between culture and nature, such as caves, shepherding, hunting and seagull’s habitats. He is also working in the field of photography with the attempt to think about the medium itself. That is the case of Open Sky (2009-..), or Asphalt Roll (2015-…), two working lines that deal with the photographic language. Among others, his work has included video-installations (XXXXX, 2012), (Scènes, 2012); sound archives (Dorsal Landscape, 2009-2015), performance and happenings (Intervention in the Agora, 2005) (Closed Circuits, 2013) (Fluids, 2014) and photographic series (Huntinglines, 2010-...) (Mining Tableau, 2012-...) etc.
Nader graduated in Sociology from the University of the Basque Country (2006). Exhibitions have included displays at the following locations: Arteleku in Donostia-San Sebastian, Archive of the Historical Province of Araba-Alava, Cristina Enea Foundation in Donostia-San Sebastian, Bizkaia Aretoa Building in Bilbao, Arts Centre of Egia, Media Library of Miarritze-Biarritz, Basque Museum of Bayonne, Club Le Larraskito in Bilbao, Antoni Tàpies Foundation of Barcelona, Artium Museoa in Vitoria-Gasteiz, MOP in Dubai, Edge of Arabia gallery in London, Tabakalera in Donostia-San Sebastian, and Igartubeiti Farm Museum in Ezkio-Itsaso.
The MOPCAP 2015 Winner’s Award has been generously sponsored by MHA London. The exhibition space has been generously donated by the Sophia Contemporary Gallery.
The artist residency and publication launch is in collaboration with the Delfina Foundation.