Delgosha gallery will be introducing a short film “Tourneur” and two new photographs by artist and filmmaker Yalda Afsah (b. 1983, Berlin) and new series of paintings by Soheil Mokhtar (b. 1985, Tehran)
German-Iranian artist and filmmaker Yalda Afsah (b. 1983, Berlin) explores how space can be cinematically constructed as her films profoundly explore the interface between reality and staging. This formal characteristic of Afsah’s work is conceptually mirrored in her recent portraits of human-animal relationships that reveal an ambivalence between care and control, physical strength and broken will, instinct and manipulation. Despite their documentary focus, her films and video installations seem to capture strange choreographies on screen – equally portraying and fictionalising their human and non-human protagonists. Afsah has presented her work at various exhibitions and festivals including Manifesta 13, Locarno Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Berlinische Galerie, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. In 2018, she received the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff scholarship and from 2019–2021 she was a fellow at the Berlin University of the Arts’ Graduate School. She is currently a mentor for the Berlin program for artists (BPA).
Installation view: Yalda Afsah, TOURNEUR, 2018, Every word was once an animal, 2022, Halle für Kunst Steiermark.
Courtesy the artist and Halle für Kunst. Steiermark; photo: kunst-dokumentation.com
“When looking at Afsah’s animals, we’re inevitably made to look at ourselves—not just at how humans shape the world around them, but also at how they are shaped in turn.“
The short movie Tourneur documents a bull fight in Southern France and subtly comments on the disparity between the young, adrenaline rushed participants and the physically superior animal, cornered by the adolescent men. The unpredictability of the situation is increased by foam flooding into the makeshift arena, which equally affects the participants’ and the audience’s view. In the opaque foam mass, the encounter between human and animal turns into a surreal and archaic performative act – as if it has slipped away from reality, it becomes its own abstraction.
HD film, color, sound 14 min Edition of 5
Yalda Afsah’s work series Hug (2022) depicts what appears to be men finding themselves in a close embrace. Taken at the set of the filmmaker’s latest project, the series of photographs focuses on a moment of intimacy during a scene otherwise marked by brute force: During the Rapas das Bestas, wild horses that live in a semi-feral state in the mountains of Galicia are driven into the “curro”, a type of arena, where they are tamed by the “aloitadores” (gal. for fighters) as part of a folkloric spectacle.
Fine art print on Hahnemühle, 107.65 X 120 CM, Edition of 3/5
Fine art print on Hahnemühle, 80 X 54.56 CM, Edition of 3/5
FRIENDS OF FRIENDS
While Soheil Mokhtar’s recent paintings take extensive inspiration from the numerous ancient Iranian archeological sites as well as traditional arts and crafts such as carpet design, Miniature painting, and metal works, their conceptual origins are derived from Persian literature and philosophy. From classics such as the Shahnameh to the ancient myths and fables. By using a contemporary interpretation of the art of illumination (Tazhīb), the artist aims to highlight his subjects within a timeless and abstract world, as if taken out of a mythological history.
Acrylic on canvas, 75 X 90 CM
Acrylic on canvas, 158 X 158 CM
Acrylic on canvas, 129 X 75 CM
Acrylic on canvas, 76 X 91 CM
Acrylic on canvas, 74 X 132 CM
Acrylic on canvas, 130 X 159 CM