October 30, 2017 - Han Nefkens Foundation - Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian: The Maids
October 30, 2017

Han Nefkens Foundation

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, The Maids, 2012–17.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian
The Maids
October 28, 2017–January 7, 2018

Opening: October 27, 6pm

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona
Spain

www.macba.cat
www.hnfoundation.com
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian
The Maids
October 28, 2017–January 7, 2018

Opening: October 27, 6pm

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona
Spain

www.macba.cat
www.hnfoundation.com
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

The Han Nefkens Foundation and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) present The Maids, an exhibition initiated by Iranian artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, winners of the 2015 Han Nefkens Foundation and MACBA Award.

The Maids is a multipart show created in response to the city of Barcelona and is the result of a two-year process described by the artists as “an assembling of a collective body." As artists, collaboration is central to their practice and their goal is to create more-equitable forms of artistic exchange by inviting different creators to contribute freely and independently to ongoing works in progress.

For this project in Barcelona, the artists sought out famed Catalan puppet artist and stage director Joan Baixas, whose work they have long admired. They also extended invitations to artist Niyaz Azadikhah, who has led community-based projects in women’s sewing workshops in Tehran; John Cole, a robotics engineer who specialises in sensors; and an international group of writers, including Mandana Mohit and Sohrab Mahdavi.

The Maids showcases the product of these exchanges, such as a robot-driven puppet designed by Baixas and Cole that opens in response to the behaviour of gallery visitors to reveal a patchwork of embroideries by Tehrani women and Afghan women refugees on the theme of everyday fears. The puppet faces a wall-sized assemblage of poetry, painting and drawing that incorporates Unfaithful Poems, a series of subjective rewritings of contemporary poetry produced in collaboration with writers and translators.

There are also two video works on view: From Sea to Dawn (2016–2017), an animated video and “moving painting” about migration; and their performance-based video work The Maids (2012–2015), which, like the exhibition, borrows its title from the 1947 Jean Genet play of the same name.

“We make a space for friends to bring their own approaches,” say the artists. “It’s important for the process to be open-ended. The ideas of the people invited to join the project become organs of the process.” In this case, the notion of fear introduced by Baixas in relation to systems of control resonated with the artists’ own interest in the question of power and the ways in which the powerful and powerless switch roles time and again, creating what they call, after Genet, “Madames and maids." “What is in the space between the controller and the controlled?” asks Baixas. “A system we call behaviour.”

 

Niyaz Azadikhah is a Tehran-based artist and teacher who works in various media.

Joan Baixas is a Barcelona-based artist, performer and stage director who has worked in a variety of media, from puppets and masks to painting and theatre works. He was the director of the theatre company Teatre de la Claca (1968–1998) and has worked closely with Joan Miró and Cildo Meireles, among other artists.

John Cole is Dubai-based engineer and founder of Dexter Industries, an educational robotics company and manufacturer of robotics sensors.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian live and work in Dubai. Their work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; ICA Boston; Kunsthalle Zürich, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; the New Museum, New York; the Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem; the Trussardi Foundation (2017 Triennale), Milan; 2013 Carnegie International; and the 2011 Sharjah Biennial, among others.

Sohrab Mahdavi is a Tehran-based writer and translator.

Mandana Mohit is a London-based TV producer, writer and translator.

The Han Nefkens Foundation and MACBA Award, now in its second edition, was launched in 2011 with the aim of consolidating Barcelona as an international capital of contemporary art. The 2015 jury was made up of Han Nefkens, Bartomeu Marí, Hanru Hou, Beatrix Ruf and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie and Hilde Teerlinck.


The Han Nefkens Foundation supports emerging and mid-career artists by financing production and providing them with an international platform. We do this through our awards, exhibitions, scholarships and residencies in multidisciplinary areas including the visual arts, fashion and literature. The Han Nefkens Foundation works through a worldwide network of experts and art professionals. Through our activities we give outstanding, emerging artists, designers and writers the opportunity to develop their work in a global context.
Executive committee: Cesar Castillo, Han Nefkens, Felipe Rodriguez and Hilde Teerlinck


Organizer: Han Nefkens Foundation, MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona)

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The Maids
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