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Periphery III

ARTIST: Sirious Namazi (2012)

Peripheri III

We are standing in front of Periphery III by Sirous Namazi. He was born in Iran in 1970. At an early age he became interested in art. To start out he devoted himself mostly to painting, but today he uses other means of expression, such as photography, video and sound. Namazi was trained at the Forum Art School in Malmö and at the School of Art in the same city. He has had a number of international shows including the world biennial in Venice.

In 2002 Namazi was living in one of Malmö´s suburbs. Right then there was a debate concerning satellite dishes- there was talk of banning the installation of them on facades and balconies. He noticed that satellite dishes in his area were pointing east, which made him think. What were the dishes an expression of, deep down? Namazi realized that they were used to gain access to TV signals from people’s homelands. It was all about deadening the feeling of isolation in the foreign society where they were. The balcony was the only place outside their home that offered these people a bit of true security.

But was it a false feeling of security? For Namazi this was a complex question, for his mother had just such a satellite dish that he felt had contributed to her isolation.

Namazi likes minimalistic art works that convey great messages and evoke thought about the time we are living in. He prefers to do this with the help of such subjects as immigration, origin and identity. He wants to evoke strong reactions with his works, something that he often succeeds in doing. One example of this is his video installation Sirous Telling Jokes from 1996, in which he told jokes in Persian without translation. Many of the visitors were upset that they did not understand the language and felt excluded as a result. This was of course the intention of the artist – to convey the feeling of isolation by simple means.

Periphery III contains a collection of these themes, where a balcony can be seen as a place between what is private and public, a place where you regard the surrounding world, while at the same time you are being looked at. The balcony was an important part of public housing projects.

A raised standard of housing in particular was the purpose of the project. The balcony became a compensation for the lack of a private garden and gave the tenants a possibility to have their own private outdoor room. Periphery III is such a balcony. A balcony with a satellite dish becomes a link to the culture left behind. In this work of art the artist presents an image of everyday life in which he also questions our age and its contradictions.

Anders Fasth, art director for Art at the Top, gave his view of the work in an interview when the work had recently been installed in 2012:

It is difficult to say right off what it means. Many will rake their brains thinking what kind of madness is this? But that is a part of what art is and you might say it is a kind of intellectual art when you must know a story, a history and some background in order to have an aha-experience.

Having said that, I hope that this has given you a context for the art work in front of you – but perhaps most of all that you can consider its significance. The artist´s thoughts about the work have been presented, but for you it may of course convey something else.


Senast uppdaterad:
16 maj 2024
Sidan publicerad av:
Piia Edh