Overview

Hesam Rahmanian (born Knoxville, 1980) lives and works in Dubai. His works begin from found fragments – a discarded household object, an innocuous shape in a polaroid or a smear of hardened, leftover paint – with a playfulness and spontaneity that is faithful to his initial glimpse. Rahmanian’s paintings and assemblages pick up the residues of life as it is lived through and by objects, from the logic of accumulation (paintings piled against a wall, tools abandoned mid-project) to the inner life of things (a dog collar imperiously present, the broom that has grown a face). The object, despite being detached from its environment, has preserved a sense of belonging elsewhere. Animate and inanimate, they are all characters in this evolving narrative and existential paradigm.

 

A guiding philosophy behind the production of these works is an ontology that is oriented towards a radical equality between objects (object-oriented ontology), where there is no distinction or difference between human beings, non-human life, and objects which populate the world. The works that emerge from Rahmanian's practice take on what may be called a kind of narrative independence, that is, the ability to exist beyond the viewer's own story and perception of the world. Even as your gaze moves elsewhere, they do not cease to be. On the contrary, they exude unmistakable presence, and they, despite your trajectory, continue to exist.

 

He also works with Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh in a collective that constantly grows and contracts to involve friends, writers and artists. The collective has presented solo exhibitions at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2020), Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2019), Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Turin (2018), MACBA, Barcelona (2017), the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston (2015), Kunsthalle, Zurich (2015) among many.

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