Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Artists word

Jinoos Taghizadeh

During my college years, I had taken some time off and as my child was small, I could just take few courses for each semester. For that reason, I would have been subjected to “sanavat” law in case of submitting my thesis late, and would have received a degree equivalent to bachelor’s. I was in a hurry to finish my thesis sooner, although I liked its subject and didn’t want to just get rid of that. Under the pretext of thesis, I wanted to develop an idea as a work of art to its final presentation (which I had even talked about it with a gallery), and not just recite my lessons, which these two were not matched well together.

My subject was poetry and poet, and the embodiment of this relationship. I wanted to name it poet+ness. I locked myself in house during the Nowruz holiday and sat down to draw for sculptures and read poetry books as a source of reference. The first day after the holidays, I went with some ink and water drawings and a series of collages to see Mr. Darsh; Victor Daresh who was our main teacher in the field of sculpture at the faculty of Fine Arts. Being busy with home and life, lack of sleep and the traffic of the first days after Nowruz had bored me and I was in hurry as always to pick up my son from kindergarten. I tossed the papers on the desk and started to talk about the path the drawings had followed and their doing methods. Mr. Daresh took a look at them and said “Such a spring! The storm hasn’t shed the blooms this year and the city has become beautiful.” I confirmed and kept on explaining about the works. He continued: “It’s great to go to the south in this season; to the bright green of the whole plain which changes its color from place to place.” Then he talked of somewhere near Kashan. I had an eye to the watch, shaking my head. He talked about some villages of Kurdistan and the exact location of a place that would be full of anemones in a month… of the birds of a lake, the vendors of the Rasht bazar and the songs of shepherds of a grassland… There was no end for that! He asked if I’ve traveled during Nowruz. I said I was home, trying to finish the work, and so used this opportunity to go back to explain the etudes. He listened in silence and said: “Your face is tired. Don’t you sleep enough?” I said: “I’m actually busy with my house and my son, so I’m awake at nights to work. I want to finish my work by May.

I was embarrassed by his calmness and the fresh courtesy he had with everyone entering the studio, and his descriptions of the flourishing of nature and forest and plain. Mr. Darsh was clearly aware of my bored-ness, but was not caring. I couldn’t understand why he deliberately adds to my anxiety and describes the smells, tastes and colors in detail, and even talks to a student about the calmness of watching orange blossoms boil in a pot to cook jam, and the changing spring sun to someone else.

It was pointless. Mr Daresh was drowned in describing the places and people and smells and tastes. I started collecting my drawings. He came back to the desk and said: “You really deprive yourself of such beautiful spring by drawing such dark, dry and uncreative sketches about poetry! How can you make something of poetry and poet, while you have deprived yourself of watching and feeling and visualizing everything? To observe and understand the people and life! If that document matters so much to you, then choose an easier research topic, but if you look at it as an art, then it is not the route! Do you think that the Octavio Paz that you use in your drawings, was living that way to write poems?”

I heard the words coming out of his mouth in silence and slowly collected the papers; behind a curtain of tears, as I was feeling so stupid, an absolute absurdity. I squeezed them in the studio closet, called from a public phone and asked someone to pick my son up. Then I went straight to Darakeh, climbed up the mountain and stayed there till sunset. I didn’t draw anything till the middle of the summer… I forgot about the document and wondered around freely in nature and crowded streets and endless sidewalks. I was taking notes sometimes and made some drawings in August. Showed them to Mr. Daresh so relaxed and with no certainty about performing them. There was a hidden satisfaction in his face. “You found it, make them.” he said. We were both happy and calm. I made some of them in September and presented them for the degree. I later worked two more years on it and then exhibited it.

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