Come Tehran from We


Exhibition : Never Been to Tehran
2007.10.16 - 11.19
Parkingallery, Tehran, Iran
Caravansarai, Istanbul, Turkey
San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, USA
Media and Interdisciplinary Arts Center, New Zealand
Koh-I-Noor, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mess Hall, Chicago, USA
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, USA
Embryosalon, Berlin, Germany

Orgnized by :
Andrea Grover and Jon Rubin (USA)

Special Thanks :
Reza HATAMI (IR) / Parinaz HATAMI (IR)

Exhibit Description of the Never Been to Tehran

Andrea Grover and Jon Rubin, Co-organizers

Imagine a city that you've only seen in reproductions or perhaps have merely heard about. A place, like many others, that only exists for you through indirect sources--the nightly news, hearsay, literature, magazines, movies, and the Internet. Using these secondhand clues as firsthand research materials, invited worldwide participants--who have Never Been to Tehran--will take photographs (from their home base) of what they imagine Tehran to look like. Contributors will upload their photos daily to an on-line photosharing site, which will be projected as a slideshow simultaneously in galleries and public spaces around the world (including Tehran). Anything that anyone might take a photograph of is fair game, just as long as it feels like Tehran.

For the international contributors to this exhibition, the task is to search through their daily lives for clues to a foreign place, for the possibility that somewhere else exists right under their noses and that, like some clunky form of astral projection, one can travel to other lands without leaving home. New information technologies are expanding the possibility of knowing a place to which you've never traveled. Hosts of amateur and commercial websites and podcasts about a given city, its economy, demographics, culture and subculture have opened the way for a new vernacular of representation. As Tehran's image is regularly depicted in the dominant media, it is a compelling challenge for the participants in this exhibition to sift through the glut of images and information to cull out a personally constructed version of an unfamiliar place. For viewers in Tehran, the exhibition presents a chance to witness an unusual mirroring of their globally projected image, taken from the daily lives and environs of outsiders.

Collectively, the artists and viewers of Never Been to Tehran will be charting a liminal space stuck somewhere between here and there that in our contemporary existence just might be home.

>> Web Exhibition : Never Been to Tehran


Work Concept of the Come Tehran from We

I do art activities based on the idea of site-specific art, which is literally "specific to the site". I put a strong importance on research of the site for my work and create pieces considering inspirations from the site, a climate and a location of the site. So this idea of "Never Been to Teheran" will be a little bit unknown challenge for me.

I developed a very personal concept this time getting of the concept of this "Never Been to Teheran". I will show a series of 15 photos named "I have never been to Teheran" focusing on two person from Teheran living in my area. It will be "my" very personal impression of Teheran.

When you faced cultural differences in a foreign country, some people would ask you "How about your country?". When people ask me about Japanese people, I don't know what to say even though I am Japanese because my opinion is not the same as what all other Japanese think. I usually answer that it depends but some people might think that my opinion is the general opinion of Japanese. This explains that individual people living in a foreign country might generate someone's very personal impression of somewhere far away in the world.

Jun'ichiro ISHII