Weeds are scanty in gardens. Any gardener, however, knows what a struggle it is to uproot them. If one looks attentively, he will find that “primitive” beings, which are often compared to wild weeds, are to be held in great respect. As long as these weeds are devoted attention, care, and concentration, they will prosper and bloom. Autodidact and self-learned art, liberated from chains and bonds; current styles; and movements in contemporary art, resemble these weeds as they continue living its own artistic life. I envy their sagacity and creative spirit. Please, do not accuse me of indulging in the desires of wild beings. I do not indulge in illusory romantic discourse. My words are about the men with whom I am personally involved. I do not want to idealize them because the limits of their horizons; their madness; their stubbornness; and restricted worlds never pass from my vision. That being said, you may be wondering why I have engaged in the defense of weeds… The reason behind it is very clear: these “primitive” and illiterate men are at the origin of art and literature. The matrix of literature indeed derived from legends and myths, and the rhythm of children’s tunes, tales and lyrics, prayers and riddles…
The aim of education and literacy, however, was never related to the enlightenment of the mind. Those who called themselves humanists, those who fanatically supported “education” were only the defenders of industry and capital, that very industry that required the state to be provided with skilled workers. That “development through completely different means”, was nothing but an expression to tame the uneducated; to take away from them their imagination, opinions; to and wash them away from their minds, so that not only their physical strength and technical skills would be taken advantage of, but their brains would also be exploited!
The aim of this “Wild Garden” exhibition is to introduce you to 4 genuine artists (Salim Karami, Davood Koochaki, Gorgali Lorestani, Mohammad Ariyaei). As indigenous artists, they have organically evolved in their environment, rich in deep layers that reflect in their work because they are a living part of their own autochthonous natural, social and historical milieu. They reveal their existence without any veil, as they do not wear the mask of “enlightenment”. This is one of the most prominent aspects of their work. They, however, cannot escape social constraint, as they are deprived from formal and academic knowledge. We, as protectors of this type of contemporary art, should be the transmitters of these insights in the public forums of art in order to prevent autodidact learning to be mistaken for ignorance.
Morteza Zahedi – Tehran - March 2015
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