Sirous Telling Jokes
Sirous Telling Jokes 1996
The five-minute video shows Namazi cracking jokes in his mother tongue ,Persian , without subtitles. I understand the structure. the gestures and when I am supposed to laugh, but nothing else. Sirous Namazi came to Sweden as a refugee at the age of 15. Here he had to grapple with a new language, a new culture and establish himself in a foreign social context. I believe a comparison between this process of integration and Namazi’s entry into the art world would yield some fundamental and interesting insights. It is not until you have full command over your language that you are able to communicate what you wish to say, it is not until you know the conservation and codes that you can feel confident. At the same time it is risky to feel too safe, seeing that the rough and ready can be an asset. It is in this particular place, where the safe meets the vulnerable, where the integrated meets the unique, that one finds the impetus of Namazi’s art. Exercises and achievements on a formal level - in painting as well as in sculpture - have given him the confidence to embrace the unrefined, and to venture into territories the border on the banal, the over-explicit, the romantic and the pathetic.
Curator | Museum of Modern Art Stockholm
Sirous Namazi was born in 1970 in Kerman, Iran. He lives and works in Stockholm. In 2018 he participated in the Athens Biennale: ANTI, in 2016 he took part in the 3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennale and in 2007 he represented Sweden (with Jakob Dahlgren) at the 52nd Venice Biennial in the Nordic Pavilion. He has had solo exhibitions at Lidköpings Konsthall and Örebro konsthall (2018), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2010), Lunds konsthall (2009) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2003). Among others he was awarded the Gannevik Art Prize (2014) and the Carnegie Art Award (Best Emerging Young Artist) in 2006. The Carnegie Art Award exhibition toured extensively internationally. Recently he participated in group exhibitions at Tartu Art Museum, Tallinn (2019), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017), Magasin III, Stockholm (2015), Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen (2014), Göteborgs konstmuseum (2011), Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole (2009), among others.