Title: The Temple of Destiny
Curated by: Bruno Corà
Location: Abadan Museum of Contemporary Art, Abadan [Iran]
Date: 10 March – 26 November 2017
‘The Temple of Destiny’, curated by Bruno Corà and inaugurated on 10 March 2017, baptized the new museum of contemporary art, built more than twenty years ago but not opened until now. The opening of the exhibition was preceded by the Noor in Contemporary Thought conference, held on 8 March at Choghā Zanbīl. This ancient ziggurat, dedicated to the god Inshushinak and one of the oldest outside of Mesopotamia, was the first site in Iran to be recognized as patrimony of humanity by UNESCO.
This is the second exhibition of Bassiri’s work since he returned to his native country, the first being ‘Motlaq’ (The Absolute), held in 2015 in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Teheran. This second exhibition represents the evolution of Bassiri’s multiform iconography in a journey that began with the Manifesto of Magmatic Thought.
As he explained in the opening words of the Manifesto, “Being for the first time on the crater, I felt the magmatic condition as if it were blood circulating through my veins and in my brain in its creative state. Since then, I have been the guest of that temple where phantoms take shape and stones resemble enormous animals.”
Material and linguistic experimentation and a decisive relationship between technique and content characterize Bassiri’s entire artistic career. In this case, he uses a variety of materials, including papier-mâché, steel and lava elements, which create a link with the small lava rocks strewn over the floor of the room. Bassiri reworks his classic elements here: the polyptych Il Pendio (The Slope) at the entrance, six Specchi Solari (Solar Mirrors) along with six Erme and six Leggii (Lecterns), an enormous mass of lava suspended with no apparent support, and at the far end of the room, Dadi della Sorte.