Vahid Danaiefar

I Love Zapping The TV Channels

Asynchronous Elements in Contemporary Culture
The art of today has moved away from many aspects of modernism, including formal purity, media specificity, originality, authenticity, universality and a taste for revolutionism. Since the mind tries to conceive a personal reality of its own, such art emerges from recognition of the fact that reality is not merely what reflected in the human understanding, but is “constructed” instead. One of the discredited discourses in contemporary art is the idea of “originality”. The idea of the “original” new is being questioned and replaced by the concepts of “reference” and “quotation” hence the abandoning of a search for anything original or authentic. Certainly, the idea of “freshness” in the art of today is a result of a recombination of one or several elements within a cultural context.
All the above-mentioned realities are taken into consideration in Vahid Danaiefar’s recent work. In this collection, the viewer is confronted with the question of what “original” and “copy” means and how these could be differentiated. Can painting, as an “artwork” originally considered a “unique” and “original” object, be “original” in this collection which is purely a copy and reconstruction of television images? What about printed photographed copies of the presented “artworks”? If every painting is “essentially” original, should this series of paintings that are copies of television images—but because of the fact that they are painted on canvas and reconstructed are themselves “original”—be considered secondary images? This is while printed reproductions of paintings, examples of such secondary images, imply reproduction and confrontation with the idea of originality and uniqueness.
Parallel to such question, Danaiefar also deals his work with other aspects of contemporary culture and socio-cultural contexts. Today new media can be considered a combination of cultural conventions for representation of information and access, manipulation and representation of information. “Old” data consist of representations of visual reality and human experience while “new” data is made up of numeral countable information. What differentiates new media from the traditional one is not just the digitalization of the content of media into small pieces, rather the dynamic life of the content of “new media” and its interrelation with the users of that media. Thus, another good news that new media is suggesting is ‘democratization’ of creation, distribution and the consumption of the content of the media. A film through a digital television is still an example of traditional media while a simple poster containing a web address through which the viewers can access information on the web can be considered an example of new media communication. Hence Vahid Danaiefar’s paintings and prints can also be brought into a similar category.
The multi-voice presence of different cultures in new media is also among the existing realities of contemporary life and culture: where nothing is any longer secondary to or the “original” of anything else. Viewers’ and consumers’ interpretation and conception will obviously differ according to their underlying cultural context and lived experience. Similar subjects such as war or sports can be read and reread in different contexts according to such interpretations and even different ideologies. While some of these images are pleasant or inspiring in a certain situation, they can be irritating or provocative in another.
In a complementary section of the exhibition connecting two visual series and relating the viewer to concepts of existing reality in interconnected to the meaning of media and today’s culture in a more general level, the video presented connects the viewer to a corridor of waves. Such connection between two parts is created in the first place with lines connecting the two parts of the exhibition (paintings and prints). Adding sound (television), edited images (bringing to mind the idea of editing in television channels), electronic music, different rhythms and sometimes solely sound help the formation of such understanding. On the whole, Danaie¬¬¬far tries in this series to speak in the language of contemporary concerns and a recombination of such elements in his cultural context.

Dr. Hamid Keshmirshekan