Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Exhibition Review


As Heidegger believes, the concept of dwelling is to live, which differs from the mechanical idea of “being alive”. For Heidegger, like any real activity, dwelling causes human existence. In other words, man is an essence that gives “existence” to himself with the concept of habitation and living. Now, consider a city where habitation does not mean living, but just a place to live.
“Uncityfied” is the title of an exhibition by Mahdi Mohaddes, an artist based in Mashhad, whose works have been presented in A Gallery. In his statement he says: “The Uncityfied is the embodiment and determination of the city that has been forcibly deprived of the participation of its citizens. A city that gradually drowns out or suffocates its remained citizens.”
Using small paintings next to each other like mosaics, Mohaddes depicts a city that has not only been abandoned of its citizens, but is itself falling down and we are waiting for its collapse at any moment.
The use of large and thick layers of paint on small canvases has caused an accumulation of dirty and pale colors that only when we get close to them, we can find a form that seems like a city. So, by applying different layers of paint and then removing them, he has created a thin layer of fragile paint in contrast to the thickness of other parts of the painting.
The urban landscapes of Mohaddes are the common denominator of all the metropolises that have consumed their citizens and left no vision. The paintings of Mohaddes resemble a non-city that never aims to be built; it is a ruined place that seems like an eternal and apocalyptic non-city.