A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Persian Daily Life on the Screen
Char Soo is a large-scale and ambitious visual art installation showing at the Samstag Gallery in Adelaide. It is associated with the Adelaide Film Festival, which is currently showing a smorgasbord of films and events. As part of this diverse festival, visual artist Hossein Valamanesh is presenting this look back at his homeland.
Char Soo is a four-screen video projection filmed in a thriving Iranian bazaar. It seeks to capture this slice of daily life in a busy market place. Visually lush, engaging and full of constant activity this art installation explores and contemplates the notion of the passing of time. A cycle of one day and all that it contains.
Char Soo is a visual art installation showing at the Samstag Gallery in Adelaide
Char Soo literally means four sides. This being a very apt title as the viewer is presented with four large screens looking down four big market corridors. Arriving in the middle of the bustling market thoroughfare the viewer is immersed in colour, movement, noise and hustle. Stay on long enough and the faces continue to congregate but the stalls gradually begin to pull up their shutters. The slow onset of quiet ushers in complete rest in the market corridors for a brief respite before the onslaught returns.
The four sides are also described as a metaphor for the country of Iran, a country criss-crossed by invasion and religious and cultural interaction for centuries. Persian poets have long used the char soo as a way of describing and imagining their world.
The artist Hossein Valamanesh was born in Tehran in 1949, he immigrated to Australia in 1973. He now calls Adelaide home and has established himself as one of Australia's foremost contemporary artists, at the same time developing an international profile.
This is a large enterprise that takes the audience into another world, culture and place. It is hard not to be mesmerised by these scenarios set on the other side of the world. I wonder would Hussien Valamanesh consider turning the spotlight back on himself in his 'new' country. Perhaps the middle of Rundle Mall? Other cultures, countries, spiritualities and fashion colliding and interacting.
This exhibition has free admission. Friday 9 October – Friday 4 December 2015