“گُه بله آکادمی” (Goh Ballet Academy): The title of the exhibition comes from the name of a ballet academy in Vancouver that once transliterated into the artist’s mother tongue (Persian) would read as “گُه بله آکادمی, meaning “Shit Yes Academy”. The exhibition will feature a recent body of works, comprised of a series of photographic and text-based mixed-media objects, a series of sculptural installations, and an image-based light box, responding to both the architectural and urban-geographical specificities of the gallery’s site in Tehran. An exhibition book including critical essays will be published to accompany the exhibition.
A permeable barrier of black lace mesh stretches against the facade of numerous photographic and text-based images in the exhibition. Visitors are called to engage with a series of flat monopatterns, behind each of which resides a different image and text, which in order to be viewed, require a persistent look from their beholder, perhaps similar to that of a voyeur.The veiled images and texts circumscribe the art attendant’s condition of vision within the long-standing dichotomization of, and reciprocity between, human excrement and gold, as two extremes of a polar value system in art (and beyond). The exhibition attempts to address the state of today’s semiotic problem in which contemporary regimes of image-production condition the individual and group subject’s relationship to the “ideological real”. Correspondingly, “گُه بله آکادمی” concerns the contingent relations between the art object and possibilities of meaning, aspiring to locate signification and objecthood in an internally contradictory scenery – a contradistinction between “gold” and “shit” induced by the intervention of homogenizing patterns of lace.
With the increasing rise of right-wing populism and the striking return of nationalism all across the globe, it is of an imperative for contemporary arts to properly account for the stakes of scrutinizing the mechanisms that condition human vision today. The works in “گُه بله آکادمی” focus on how contemporary art could seize to address the ways in which the optico-political apparatuses engage in transforming the “shit” of what is shown into the “gold” of what is viewed today.
*The exhibition book includes essays by:
Gareth James: Here’s Shit in Your Eye (2020)
Matt Browning: Taking a Signifier, Making a Signifier (2020)
Alphabet Collection/Mo Salemy: Maquillage & Semiopticon: An Epistemological Study of Lace & Mirrors (2020)
Ag Galerie : #43 South Azodi St., Karim Khan St., Tehran, Iran