Darvish Fakhr – No Man’s Land
Asia House, London, 19 – 27 April 2018
“Those who danced were thought insane by those who could not hear the music.” Nietzsche
A new exhibition by Iranian-American artist Darvish Fakhr – No Man’s Land – is a body of work inspired by the story of Darvish Esfandiarpour, a deaf and mute Iranian farmer.
Esfandiarpour owned land in the province of Kermanshah, which was taken during the Shah of Iran’s regime in 1963.
Known as the White Revolution, the land grab left Esfandiarpour without land fertile enough to raise crops, forcing the farmer and his family into poverty.
Esfandiarpour responded to this by enacting a unique resistance. Hanging heavy stones from dead trees, in a period spanning 40 years, Esfandiarpour created what would be become known as the Stone Garden. He would also perform a ceremonial dance in an emotional response to his situation.
Fakhr visited the Stone Garden in 2016 and created the body of work in No Man’s Land with references to Esfandiarpour, and about the bitter conflict that often arises over space and where battle lines get drawn.
The exhibition examines ideas about space, boundaries and tension caused by power imbalance. The works in the show will be paintings and charcoal drawings.
On Thursday, April 19, Fakhr will be joined by British dancer and choreographer Akram Khan MBE for a discussion on exploration and space through movement and art.
This will be followed by a silent disco, which will celebrate movement in response to The Stone Garden. Movement is a key part of creative practice for Fakhr, who refers to his studio as his cosmic gym, an aphorism reflective of his process, which involves working with his body as well as paint.
Fakhr said: “The story of Darvish Esfandiarpour is one that has resonated with me since I first came across it.
“After visiting the Stone Garden myself in 2016, I was compelled to bring his story to a wider audience. His peaceful reaction to an aggressive act is one I think we can all learn from.
“The landscape of the region also speaks to me hauntingly of spirituality, Iran and a shared heritage.”
Documentary maker Parviz Kimiavi has made two films about Darvish Esfandiarpour, The Stone Garden in 1976 and The Old Man and his Garden of Stones in 2004.
Darvish Fakhr is an award-winning contemporary artist who has specialised in figurative realism. He studied at the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston, where he attained his BFA in 1994, and Slade School of Fine Art, London, where he got his MFA in 1997.
He has exhibited in America and the UK. Fakhr was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 2008 to paint Akram Khan for the gallery’s permanent collection. Settled in the UK for over two decades, Fakhr lives and works in Brighton.
Darvish Fakhr, No Man’s Land, Thursday 19 April – Friday 27 April 2018 | Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
Silent disco and talk with Akram Khan MBE and Darvish Fakhr, Thursday 19 April, 6pm – 10pm (Talk 6.45pm – 7.30pm, followed by silent disco until 10pm)
Tickets – £12 general, £10 concessions and £6 Asia House members
To book tickets , visit www.asiahousearts.org
Exhibition is free to attend, daily 10am – 6pm
(from a press release)
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