Title: Motlaq
Curated by: Bruno Corà
Location: Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art [Iran]
Date: 14 June – 7 August 2015


Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art

“MOTLAQ is the drop that falls into an immense sea without dissolving as if it were a pearl plunging silently into the abyss to touch the depths of feeling.” (Bizhan Bassiri)

The MOTLAQ exhibition at the Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art marks the return of Bizhan Bassiri to Iran after almost forty years, since the artist moved to Italy in 1975 to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti. The essence of MOTLAQ is most clearly manifested in the impressive and diverse repertoire of works, seemingly to mark the artist’s “return” with hands full of offerings and gifts after a long absence.
The artist hung the individual “evaporations” of the new Volto cycle (2015) on black-painted walls, while in the centre of each room, he installed – like a spinal column – his historic forms of Leggii (1984) and in another, the Erme (1996), placing them facing each other. Both the Lecterns and the Herms stand on a path of white marble dust raised above floor level, creating a slight suspension that makes them seem lighter. Another room features the six Serpe auree (2013), placed on dark bases and similarly lined up on a path of marble dust. In the centre are the The Dice of Fate, “wondrous cubes risen from the mind and immersed in a small lake of mercury”. (Bruno Corà)

On the walls of this room, Bassiri placed a series of black and white “evaporations”, which portray the development of La Tempesta, 2015, on the slope of the volcano, appearing like vague figures that cross and separate along the intense path of life, though in fact belonging more to dream than to reality.
Continuing through this impressive exhibition, visitors find themselves before the Specchi solari (1988) which only reflect light, or before precious showcases displaying drawings of the volcano or its magma, inspiration for “supreme animals”, mythic birds and dragons derived from the volcano’s tongues of fire.