Six Pillars podcast of the interview broadcast August 20th, with BFI-once-NFT head of programming Sheila Whittaker. In her role she visited in Iran yearly for 25 years. Now in protest over the treatment of film maker Jafar Panahi, Whittaker will no longer visit. She explains the season and why and how it was programmed.
Shirazeh Houshiary first showed at The Lisson Gallery in 1984. On the eve of a new and monumental Lisson show Houshiari discusses her technique and thinking with Six Pillars. Her works draw on the presence of the ineffable presences that stand between life and death, earth and space, time and the nanosecond.
“I set out to capture my breath,” she says, to “find the essence of my own existence, transcending name, nationality, cultures.“
Rouzbeh Rashidi, founder of The Experimental Film Society visits the ResonanceFM studios from Ireland to discuss his influences, his own films with titles such as ‘Bipedality’ and working various forms – even toy Barbie cameras! Rouzbeh was taking part in London’s The Underground Film Festival.
This show was originally broadcast on 13th Dec 2010.
The Jameel Prize is awarded to artist Rachid Koraïchi. We discuss the history and aims of the Jameel prize with one of its curators Salma Tuqan, and the winning work with Koraïchi himself (via a translator).
Sufi-born Koraïchi is influenced by an interest in life’s signs – real and imaginary, and his work contains glyphs and ciphers drawn from other cultures, mainly Arabic calligraphic scripts. Koraïchi’s sculptures and installations explore a wide range of media such as ceramics, textiles, various metals and paint on silk, paper and canvas. His winning works were large cloth hangings, hung around the Jameel Gallery inside the V&A museum, where this interview took place.
The interview comes prior to his collaboration with dancer and choreographer Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, London 2012. Both Nikpay and Ghalam have experimented extensively with forms of juerga and toque from Flamenco interwoven into Persian classical forms and both are highly passionate in their delivery, so it makes perfect sense for them to work together on stage, Nikpay providing the music, Moshkin Ghalam the dance.
Back from the Brink – An Audio Portrait
Kouroush Yaghmaie brought psyche music to Iran. He lived his music from his teens to adulthood until banned from singing, he was forced to produce children’s songs under a pseudonym for 19 years. His new album ‘Back from the Brink’ comes as a double CD and book, the extensive and detailed text by Kouroush Yaghmaie himself. In it Yaghmaie describes how he used his guitar to sound like a sitar, how his fellow musicians fell out of performing and heartbreakingly, lost the gift of music. Six Pillars has created a bespoke audio piece with a voice narrating over the songs the words of the man who for so long could not speak out. First broadcast in May 2012.
Nooshin Farhid, video artist, whose solo show Shallow Water, Deep Skin is now running at East London’s The Agency Gallery discusses her work and process with us back in 2008. Over the years Farhid has co-curated a number of exhibitions including “Use this Kind of Sky” and has exhibited the world over gathering together a considerable body of work and lengthy resumé.
Farhid’s videos employ different subjects and scenarios that thread together with a connecting sense of agitation and grit. We discuss her interests and how Fahid’s ideas form which interestingly harks back to her own experiences as an immigrant settling in the UK. The unwillingness to settle for what is on offer, something that is evident in all her work, reflects Farhid’s views on the current state of society, politics and ideology. Though not overtly political, (for this inevitably enables privileged authority to manipulate the artist into the cul de sac of irrelevance), her work picks away at those daily familiar stabilising forces within the space of the everyday and also within contemporary art itself.
Farhid’s work, eclectic and conceptually nomadic, uses the camera as a notebook collecting fragments of random events and chance meetings that collectively question the incessant drive towards normality and conformity. Farhid appropriates other ‘dumbing’ forms of popular media: soaps, reality TV, Bollywood, MTV, raw material welded together in fragments, each one activating and qualifying its predecessor. This process produces a contemporary surreal space that re-presents the familiar in that which is astonishing and invites the viewer to reconsider. In her most recent work Shallow Water, Deep Skin, featuring political activist and entomologist Shahin Nawai in ‘Shallow Water, Deep Skin’ Farhid reaches the apex of her observations of the human disconnect by melding together the swarming world of nature and human kinds’ own busy, teeming concerns.
Most of all, Farhid turns out to be a quirky and humorous talent, who works as both artist and curator, resident and outsider. This interview was first broadcast from the ResonanceFM studios in 2008.
Ebi is one of Iran’s most foremost pop singers from the 70s, although his music has been banned there for many years. Listening to his unique, warm baritone voice, to his stirring ballads, it’s amazing to think that over 40 years ago Ebi was already a well-established star with fans all over the world.
Ebi left Iran two years before the ’79 Islamic Revolution after recording six hit albums, and continued to work in the US. Later, he recorded another 13 albums and is still performing at sold-out concerts at prestigious venues around the world including the Sydney Opera House and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center.
In 2010 Ebi played his only UK concert for years at the Royal Albert Hall to help support the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We recorded an interview with the man himself while he was in London. The song below, Tasmim, critiques the Iranian elections of 2009. The video features two glass bowls, one filled with worms the other cockroaches as a suggestive metaphor.
Highlights from the Art & Patronage Summit, London 2012. The A&P Summit was an invitation-only event for notable patrons, collectors, arts institution leaders, curators, academics, artists, diplomats and other influential players involved in culture of and for the greater Middle East, including Turkey, Iran and North Africa. Capitalising on the region’s current cultural vitality and socio-political momentum, the Summit aimed to enable both individuals and institutions to collaborate creatively in support of an emerging art scene.
The summit was held on January 12th at the British Museum and on the 13th at the Royal College of Art.
An interview with the director of Haus Publishing, who have translated banned book The Colonel from Farsi to English for print. In its native Iran, where the office of censorship has prohibited publication, The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi cannot be read, but now published in German and English, this critical work has been granted a voice in the outside world.
Barbara Schwepcke discusses the difficulties and importance of publishing authors like Dowlatabadi and the role of literature in revolutionary times.
This programme was originally broadcast Monday 12th September 2011 from the ResonanceFM studios.