Ramin Haerizadeh (born 1975, Tehran), Rokni Haerizadeh (born 1978, Tehran) and Hesam Rahmanian (born 1980, Knoxville, Tennessee) have lived and worked together in Dubai since 2009. They work both independently and together, propagating a form of collaboration that doesn’t suppress individualism. The seeds of their language were sown as early as 1999, back in Iran. Their practice offers up a novel redefinition of the collective, as theirs is constantly growing and contracting to incorporate friends, writers and artists at large. It entails the use of both low and high art references, and they freely embrace “what is considered marginal, wasted and wrong, messed-up, useless and taken for granted”. Their individual practices differ stylistically while political and social commentary become inherently subversive in a common reflection. The exhibitions they conceive are as much insights into their daily practice, which they designate as the ritual of living and working together.
Immersive and multimedia, their installations build upon their perception of life as theatre, while also making visible their process. Generally, their proposals begin with the ‘creatures’ that the three artists become, physically and mentally, and whose very beings are the roles played. Multivalent references from a variety of sources are carefully contrived and filtered, growing in parallel without trying to reconcile them. Placing emphasis on the importance of “reporting on our time”, they wish to bring attention to the urgencies of the present moment while opening up questions over a spectrum of subjects such as views on art and culture, gender fluidity and power mechanisms.
“The conglomeration of things actually asks us to look at what is in front of us,” say the artists, demanding time for contemplation. They seek to encourage the viewer to recognise the reality of interdependency and the value of solidarity with others. Therefore, they create a sense of alienation or estrangement from reality with depersonalised individual subjects (creatures) and inhomogeneous crafted objects. In this way, they aim to exorcise the sentimentalism, resulting in an emotional distance to elicit from the viewer astonishment rather than empathy, and ultimately allowing for critical analysis.