Arya Tabandehpoor’s exhibition ‘Corruption, Retooling, Connection’ dissects the cultural manifestations inherent in technology

BY Rebecca Anne Proctor / Jul 26 2018 / 13:47 PM

On view at Tehran’s Mohsen Gallery is a show that explores the relationship between culture and our techno-obsessed world through the photography of Arya Tabandehpoor

Arya Tabandehpoor’s exhibition ‘Corruption, Retooling, Connection’ dissects the cultural manifestations inherent in technology
Arya Tabandehpoor, From "Connection" Series, Printed Photograph on Metalized Paper, iPhone 5 Glass, Double-Sided Glue, Twin Glue, Oca Glue, Metal Frame 130 x 300 cm, Unique Edition 2018

Fragmented images of destitute landscapes with punctured, unrecognizable objects seem conjure up feelings of weakness and disability. For Iranian photographer Arya Tanandehpoor technology defines the way that culture is understood and ulitised. In today’s techno-oriented world, where the Internet has become a basic human need, so too have error and malfunction have become inseparable parts of our perception of technology, Tanandehpoor believes.

In his recent series, Corruption, Retooling, Connection, the artist shows works presenting the deep and many layers of an image. These are photographs that reflect the uncontrollable aspects of a photographic rendering. Tanandehpoor has categorized them into the following: the failed part (corruption), the invisible, discarded part (retooling), and the future of technology (connection). For the artist, the harmful and destructive aspects of technology are prone to failure and often “get out of control.” In art, however, that destructive aspect is not produced by limitations; it is, rather, the result of the “delightfulness of the extraordinary.” For Tanandehpoor, tech-oriented art is the outcome of “processing” as well as “processing failure.” And “failure” means reevaluation, which then leads to further artistic developments.

Arya Tabandehpoor, From " Retooling" Series, Printed Photograph on Transparent Sheet, Metal Frame, Stepper Motor, Arduino Board, Drivers, Wires, Switch, Ball Bearing, Screws, Power Adaptor, Roller, Double-Sides Glue Rail, Belt ,32.5 x 38 x 5 cm, Unique Edition 2018

For example, in his Connection series, the procedure changes and the overall image is split to fit into tiny screens of cellphones, while still retaining its characteristics. “In this series, the images are cropped and then installed behind iPhone screens,” says the artist. “I attached the screens next to each other, trying to recreate the original image. The purpose of this work is to create an ugly or a beautiful image of a general corruption in this representational connection.” Every detail contains information from the whole, and the whole reflects information from each part. “The images are displayed in a public space, each one separately showing a part of nature: green, lively, and beautiful,”he adds. In this series, the end process refers to the end life of the machine and thus the end of nature. This is the dialogue that Tanandehpoor wishes to explore through this new work.

In the Corruption series, on the other hand, we observe photographs that depict where the results of a situation have gone wrong. In these images it is almost impossible to understand what is being depicted.

The artist then splits his Retooling series into two parts: the visual and the mechanical. One consists of machines that were previously parts of bigger systems before they were discarded, and the other comprises photographs in which the image codes have replaced the visual components of the image.

Throughout Tanandehpoor explores the concepts of decay, inability, weakness, and disability. These works neither create beauty nor reject it. Haunting in their photographic renderings, these images ultimately show how man and nature are inextricably linked – even in a world where technology seems to be the more dominant.

On view until 8 August at Mohsen Gallery in Tehran

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