“... art can change society, perhaps not permanently, but towards a new and subsequent utopia. Art is a space where not only value notions are discussed, but where provisional social models may be implemented to be seen, analyzed and, in the best of cases, copied by other disciplines and bodies in society, which will be the ones to negotiate their permanence and executive status.”
(Tania Bruguera)

Shahram Entekhabi - 28 days in Amsterdam

Shahram Entekhabi - Haji Firouz

Shahram Entekhabi has been invited to participate in “Visual Foreign Correspondents - Issue 2”
with his latest work “Haji Firouz”.
18 December 2007 - 14 January 2008 / Amsterdam, The Nederlands

Produced by Shahram Entekhabi, Co-production Fine Arts Unternehmen AG [Zug, CH]

Visual Foreign Correspondents (realised in collaboration with Globalised Crystal Ball) is an independent platform in which 11 distinguished artists from around the world are invited each month to give their personal visual commentary on events and situations from their locally situated perspective. Their works especially created for urban screens and online platforms. This project will give people in the streets of Amsterdam a brief window into other regions, peoples and other kinds of imagination.

The work will be launched during the seminar event of the Globalised Crystal Ball in the conference space. An introduction to the work will be given, making a connection to the seminar and the ideas of the artist.

Independent from the seminar the work will then feature on the urban screen outside the Balie every night for a month, on the The Contemporary Art Screen, at the Zuidas and in 11-Reatuarant Bar Club, part of Post-CS, museum of modern art, Amsterdam.
These screens will be in relationship to a specially designed website and Oog. The VFC website will show the work and contextualize it with political, social and cultural background information. Furthermore it will give information about the project and a possibility for the audience to interact.

The work will also feature in OOG, a commentary and opinion platform that is part the online edition of De Volkskrant, a major Dutch daily national newspaper. Here the work will feature for a week as part of the continuing series of artist commentaries.

Haji Firouz (2007)

In Iran Haji Firouz is a clownesque character in blackface, traditionally heralding the Persian New Year: Nowruz. With song and dance he spreads good cheer and inaugurates the festive season. Set within a busy shopping street in West-Berlin, Entekhabi enacts his own version of Haji Fairuz. However, his continuous efforts and increasingly exaggerated gestures to attract attention and become included within a commodified urban setting, are widely ignored by the busy Christmas shoppers. Their own preoccupation with performing the festive season themselves, by means of consumption, disallows them to see, let alone consume, an element which seems out-of-place and disrupts the regular flow of goods and people. Entekhabis Haji Firouz challenges normative behavioural patterns by pushing social and racial boundaries; it becomes clear within these parameters, that participation in a particular system, is based on exclusivity and conformity.

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