* Revision at the House on Abdeh St.

Curated by Takin Aghdashloo, December 28, 2018-January 4, 2019

* Statement
Revision at the House on Abdeh St. is a site-specific exhibition consisting of installations and murals by fourteen artists, held in an empty house in downtown Tehran. This is a house in the midst of transforming from a residence for a single family, into a contemporary art gallery for all. The intellectual and curatorial foundations of this exhibition are rooted in revision, appropriation, and the evolution of the concept of home from a familiar space and a symbol of the everyday and privacy, into an artistic medium. By appropriating this building, the artists revise the innermost living spaces moments of transformation, discovery, and revelation.
These pieces share an intention to redefine the most private of spaces - the bedroom, the bathroom, the basement, the swimming pool. An act which the 1960s French philosopher and cultural theorist Guy Debord calls Psychogeography and defines as “a total dissolution of boundaries between art and life.” Debord, together with his contemporaries, tried to oppose the capitalist and profit-driven nature of the arts, by offering a substitute for it through appropriating city spaces unrelated to the institution of art and creating independent art events, which he called “situations”. By this definition, the house on Abdeh Street is a “situation” for the experimental revision of an everyday geographical location by the artists, viewers, and exhibition at large.
In addition to the artists’ return return to and revision of the concept of home, this exhibition demonstrates two parallel revisions. First, the return of the owners to their empty childhood home after nearly a decade, establishing it anew as an art gallery. Secondly, as curator of this show, my own return to my place of birth and upbringing, Iran, after a long-term migration to Canada. This personal return is fundamental to the idea of this exhibition, in collaborating with the owners of the house, and working with the presented artists. As a result, Revision at the House on Abdeh St. is a revisionist triangle, in which each of its sides plays a defining role.
Due to its site-specific nature, most of the pieces in this exhibition can be viewed only during this show, and major renovations in the coming months means that they will inevitably be demolished. This evokes the idea American sculptor Richard Serra describes as “if you move it, you destroy it”. This fate for the house on Abdeh St., paired with the current crude condition in which it finds itself, lends itself to a useful lesson – the determining prerequisite for rebirth is to fully, and unapologetically abandon the old body, framework, or condition.
– Takin Aghdashloo