PublicationNotes #1

Notes #1

March 24, 2023

Finally, the time has come! is thrilled to publish the first issue of NOTES, our new, regular online publication presenting diverse contributions by artists and authors from Iran. The monthly multimedia online publication releases “notes” by artists and theorists on contemporary art, literature and poetry, architecture and design, and music and performance, dealing with topics ranging from the artistic to the scientific, spanning both social and political discourses. Our initial focus, carried throughout 2023, is on contributions revolving around topics from local Iranian artistic contexts. In the following years, we intend to expand to further artistic surroundings. The online publication series builds on the input of our guest editors and contributors, who bring in current relevant topics relating to their respective contexts. The contributions are thus as critical as possible and as sensitive as necessary. NOTES not only covers a broad spectrum of topics but realizes them in diverse multimedia formats online, including text, image, video, digital storytelling, and podcast.

How do artists and cultural practitioners contribute to social awareness and change in times of global and regional clashes, dramatic developments, instabilities, and personal distress? In 2023, NOTES will follow three editorial lines. “Balance” provides a framework for sustainability, management of resources, preservation, and ecological responsibility. “Space” deals with urban utopias, green islands, movements between hemispheres, hyperrealities, and migrating images and minds. “Desire” stands for dreams, manifestos, sexual explorations, gender identities, safe harbors, and care.

The guest editor for the “Balance” stream is Tehran-based art historian Helia Darabi, who is also an author for this first issue. She opens with the text “For Pirouz and His Probable Distinction” addressing human-animal relations as they manifest in culture and art and, specifically, in the works of contemporary artists living and working in Iran. Pirouz, one of the last Asian cheetahs who recently died in Iran at the tender age of ten months, and his relation to the liberation movement plays a role in the text, as do stray dogs, stranded whales, and human animals. The second contribution in this issue is dedicated to stray dogs—a widespread phenomenon and massive problem in Iran. The photo-essay “In the Margins” presents the series Outskirts (2017–21) by artist Tabib Aram, introduced by curator Negar Naderipour. Further, we are proud to offer our audience the rare opportunity to see Bita Fayyazi early video Road Kill, from 1998. (The video was available to watch online via the platform until the end of June 2023.)

In the podcast, that is live-streamed on Friday, March 24, founders Bernd Fechner and Hannah Jacobi talk to Helia Darabi about environmental activism and artistic concerns in Iran.

Please enjoy reading, watching, listening, and discovering!

Hannah Jacobi, Bernd Fechner, “Editorial,” in NOTES #1 (April 2023); published on, March 24, 2023.