June 30, 2021

Rouzbeh Akhbari
Por Ser a Terra Muito Calmosa

4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture

Rouzbeh Akhbari. Based on drawing by Mahmoud Dehnavi. Courtesy of the artist.

Rouzbeh Akhbari, Perturbation (still).

Rouzbeh Akhbari, Perturbation (still).

Rouzbeh Akhbari, Perturbation (still).

Rouzbeh Akhbari, Perturbation (still).

Rouzbeh Akhbari, Perturbation (still).

Curated by Luísa Santos and Ana Fabíola Maurício

Por Ser a Terra Muito Calmosa is a solo exhibition by Rouzbeh Akhbari (1992, Tehran). Part of a multifaceted research project titled Tales from the Garden of Zār, this exhibition unfolds in various formal and conceptual layers. Consisting of a short film, a fictocritical novel and a series of sculptural and wallworks, Akhbari's exhibition brings together multiple nodes in a constellation of stories that revolve around the legends of edible earth in connection to purported paranormal activities in the strait of Hormuz.

Originally inspired by his late grandfather Mahmoud Dehnavi’s unpublished drawings of imaginary Safavid gardens, Akhbari's Por Ser a Terra Muito Calmosa turns close attention to micro histories rather than the grand political and cultural narratives that frame the relationship between early 17th century anti-colonial warfare in the Persian Gulf and the advent of a multitude of approaches to the concept of time in Shi'a political thought in Iran. This emphasis is explored via speculations in a methodological approach reminiscent of speculative design: a tool to present visions of potential futures as a means of critique and provocation of such futures (Smyth and Helgason, 2020) [1]. An example of the power of mutability and storytelling, Akhbari’s project highlights how perception plays a role in the ways we learn, unpack, and act upon narratives.

[1] Helgason, Ingi and Smyth, Michael (2020). “Ethnographic Fictions: Research for Speculative Design”. Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (Companion Volume): 203-207.

The exhibition Por Ser a Terra Muito Calmosa, by Rouzbeh Akhbari, at the Galeria da Fundação Amélia de Mello, is part of the 4Cs: from Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture, a large-scale cooperation project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission. For more information on the 4Cs activities, please visit here.

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