I'LL HUFF AND I'LL PUFF: Ramin Haerizadeh


Iranian artist Ramin Haerizadeh tears apart the symbols around us and rearranges them to draw out darker, submerged and subtly humorous truths. Since his solo show in 2008 at GALLERY ISABELLE VAN DEN EYNDE (prev. B21), and his appearance in Charles Saatchi's Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East and Galerie Thaddeaus Ropac, Ramin has created a raft of new work that delves deeper into the skewed psyche of his country. He emerges sensitive to the theatricality of Iran's modern history and how to subvert that with a cinematographer's eye.


For the artist's latest collages he has gathered imagery from a TV production created for children in Iran, Shahr-e-Ghesseh (Farsi for 'City of Tales'), to form a cast of characters that illustrate his ideas about the continuing process of remaking identities in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Shehr-e-Ghesseh was staged by an avant-garde theatre troupe in papier-mâché masks a decade before the Revolution. At the heart of the story is an elephant that arrives into a town of animals only to fall and break his tusk. The townsfolk, such as the mullah with the head of a fox, the bear who is a fortuneteller, and the parrot who is a poet, decide to 'fix' the broken elephant by placing the tusk on his head and snipping off his trunk. Without the features of an elephant, they decide he is no longer so and take him to register for an ID card - he is remade, given a human name, 'Manouchehr', and as the play continues his personality is lost.

Installation Views