Hazem Harb | Biography


International Group exhibition and cultural exchange between Iranian and European artists 

Produced by Gaah Production Art Space (Gaah Art) 

Curators: Sanaz Raffii, Laura Puska 

Etemad Gallery in the location of Negarestan Historical Garden 

17 January - 5 February 2020 


The French philosopher Roland Barthes argued that a language is a system where the meaning does not rely on words themselves, rather it is traced in indicators based on prevalent social conventions.

In his book Empire of Signs (1970) Barthes studies language by describing a journey to a foreign culture (Japan) where his mother tongue is no use in communication. Being surrounded by the unknown language, he finds himself in a moment of ̈interstice, delivered from any fulfilled meaning. ̈ 

Echoing the thoughts of Barthes, we are after the interstice, where a language expands from its verbal form into a diversity of expressions and interpretations. While losing its 

̈simultaneously quite essential and quite insignificant ̈ character, we discover a language that the environment itself carries and talks with these layered signs. 

In the exhibition Interstice - Without Words a group of European and Iranian artists are invited to become translators of their own surroundings. Having different mother tongues and coming from diverse geographical locations and cultural backgrounds, the artist share the same question; how does an individual relate to the surrounding. 

Although we are interested in the extended idea of language, we do not abandon a verbal expression either. 

While working towards the exhibition, the participating artists are connected with each other via email (forming pairs of an Iranian and European artist). They are engaged in a dialogue concerning the works that they are preparing for the exhibition. The gesture of communication aims to offer a platform for reflection and to support the process of the artists. The exchange happens by exploiting the language of English, which is not a mother tongue of any of the participants.

Before the opening date, the dialogues are collected, edited and published in a form of a leaflet to be shared during the exhibition. The leaflet of the dialogues is presented for the audience as a collaborative work of the whole group, and it reveals insights to the participating projects, verbalised by the artists themselves. The dialogues facilitate a possibility for cultural, artistic and personal exchange between the Iranian and European artists while building a connection between the exhibited projects. 

During the exhibition period, there will be 6 panel discussion, 1 Artists talks together with all the artists, performances, different workshops and sound installation will be performed. 

The exhibition brings together the various approaches and languages to interpret our relation to the surroundings. No matter the differences in our backgrounds or languages we speak, slowing down for this interstice enables diversity to co-exist in the gallery space. 



Participating Artists (Alphabetical Order): 


Ahmad Zolfagharian (Iran)

Aline Stalder (Switzerland)

Hooria Rahimi (Iran)

Katharina Kapsamer (Austria)

Laura Puska (Finland)

Liina Kuittinen (Finland)

Linda Branco (France)

Mehregan Meisami (Iran)

Mona Najafizadeh (Iran)

Salla Valle (Finland)

Sanaz Raffii (Iran)

Soheil Rostami (Iran)


For Virtual Tour please click on https://paaygaah.com/en/virtual-tour.html