Artissima and Combo, an innovative hospitality concept and “cultural assemblage” open to experimentation, have organized an inedited traveling educational project, the Artissima Experimental Academy. Through a series of creative co-designed workshops, based on a format of co-habitation and experimental teaching methods, the fair offers young arts-lovers and professionals a unique opportunity for growth. Following the previous episodes of the project, the third chapter took place during Artissima 2019 and was focused on censorship, reflecting the theme of this year’s fair.
The third appointment of the Artissima Experimental Academy, Eyes, come back!, has been conducted by the Iranian artist Setareh Shahbazi, born in Tehran in 1978, and took place behind closed doors in the spaces of Combo in Turin, with the support of Alserkal, Dubai.
The workshop, open to twelve international students selected through a call to academies and institutions of artistic production, featured a hands-on and cross-disciplinary experience, oriented towards a practical approach in which participants were engaged in the design and making of a series of fictional worlds. These scenarios – based on the imaginary liked to the figure of the “trickster” (typical of folklore and mythology) – were the stage on which the selected young participants moved to explore multiple viewpoints narrating the uncertainty and entropy of contemporary society. The participants in Eyes, Come Back! experienced a change of perspective, attempting to observe the world through the eyes of another, evaluating its opportunities and unknowns.
The artistic practice of Setareh Shahbazi is marked by an interpenetration of faces, times, materials and forms. Starting with photographs taken by the artist herself or from films, postcards, newspaper clippings, family albums or private collections, Shahbazi creates works that emanate an almost hallucinatory aura, overlapping different materials and using various techniques.
The project Eyes, Come Back! was inserted in the Hub Middle East focus and was supported by Alserkal, a socially responsible Dubai-based company in the field of distribution and production of innovative models of cultural business on a local and international level. Through its Foundation, the company supports public commissions, residencies, research grants and educational projects.