SHAHROUZ NAZARI / A NOTE ABOUT EASTERN WHISTLE
One who does not understand humor, cannot understand reality Molière Hume said, “Art cannot be understood by its own standards, but must be seen as an element connecting man to the world.” According to this idea, art in different eras is an expression of its time and place. I begin with this statement in order to say that the birth of “Soot-e Sharghi”  represents a new era in Iranian society, the realities of which are not difficult to decipher in the works of these young artists. They despise their identities, but at the same time have an insanely confident self-congratulatory manner. The kitsch quality of art produced by this new generation of Iranians depicts the pretentious, contradictory character of Iranian culture. Thierry de Duve said, “Love of kitsch and self-hatred are certainly linked” . The forces defining Iranian clichés in the new century are presented in new forms everyday.
I must say that I am not surprised that on the verge of his eighth decade, Fereydoun Ave still defends the “unusual act” in art. This curiosity is because of the inner-child he has managed to keep alive within him. When he asked me to write an introduction for “Soot-e Sharghi” I knew that he was once again attempting to create an unfamiliar context for viewers. “Soot-e Sharghi” provided him with an occasion to express his manifesto through the work of artists who are still in their twenties. Fereydoun Ave sees art as an opportunity to create experiences, and art works as the debris of this interaction; a condition that whether good or bad, the members of “Soot-e Sharghi” are obliged to accept.
“Soot-e Sharghi” is both a joke and censure chosen by the young members of this group as their name. It is a joke because they consider their actions not a scream or shout, but a whistle (“soot”). And it is a form of censure because they make a mockery of Orientalism (“shargh”) as described by Edward Said. They neither praise their Orientalism, nor confront their Middle-Eastern-ness. They are melancholic easterners who whistle instead of weeping for their dead culture.
I have been following “Soot-e Sharghi” for several years now. They are a group of young, egotistical, energetic, patricidal, babblers, who intentionally present themselves as indolent and banal. They claim that they think globally and live locally, and most importantly, that they don’t take anything seriously except for themselves. Later I came to realize that they don’t take themselves seriously either!
I personally believe this is an interesting quality for a group of artists, particularly since the incoherence of art in our time is also a reflection of the disintegration of society. This generation of artists will be shaping our art world over the next two decades, and without a doubt they don’t realize that what they have planted as a disruption to conventions today, will lead to unpleasant norms in their middle age, and will cause others to blow their whistles in protest to those norms.
Louis Armstrong said, “All you need to make a work of art is desire”. I think this is what “Soot-e Sharghi” believes, even if they’ve never heard of Armstrong. More than any source of inspiration, any cause, or even any particular capability, the work of these artists is the result of their desire for creation. And by creation I mean a destruction of previous creations, a form of outpouring, a way of satisfying a burning desire, and being freed of ordinariness.
I don’t know how long “Soot-e Sharghi” will last and what will eventually become of them. But don’t attempt to understand them. As is clear from their name, this group is like an erratic sound, humorous, improvisational, and temporary, who because of their youth don’t have any goal but to enjoy themselves. They are not interested in reducing pleasure, even the pleasure one gets from art, to a rational means or an ideological creed (something their antecedents have done for decades). They are not even in agreement with each other about the meaning of art, and have probably come together because of economical issues, which happens to be their sole common point and motivation.
 Eastern Whistle. “Soot” literally means whistle, and “Shargh” means east.
 De Duve, Thierry, “Clement Greenberg Between the Lines,” Trans. Brian
Holmes; Editions Dis Voir, 1996
FEREYDOUN AVE / ARTISTS OR SERIAL KILLERS?
Punky, funky, whistle blowers of the East. Where thinking requires a logical conclusion, creativity does not. Under the calm exterior festers change change needs a new language very much like the Dadists that morphed into a non language that presented infinate possibilities.
They are young, beautiful, talented children with hormons raging sitting in front of a little screen looking at a big chaotic world trying to decipher it. Electrified by sex and violence and death and destruction, sick with longing. Longing to make marks and gestures that actually convey their first hand experience of this accident called Life. Broken, needing healing through doing. Afraid only of themselves. Children wanted to be super heros.Poets with pointed sharp teeth Poets with the internet as their muse Poets of the virtual world on line Nine third generation revolutionaries having the courage to put aside their egos and celebrate in a triumphal chorus.
PS If these young Persians were not artists, they would probably end up as serial killers.
Fereydoun Ave: Curator’s statement for the first exhibition of this group at the Lajevardi foundation.
zie gallery/Shiraz, Iran
AN APPROACH TO UNDERSTAND NON-AESTHETHIC ART:
By: Maryam Roshanfekr
Our experience from universe is always happen via each person’s window to the world, but this window’s position depends on infinite antecedent parameters such as age, gender, race, social level, childhood memories and etc. though during all this millenniums, human kind had always sought a way to unify these perspectives or at least find a way to reveal it to the others, rooting back to very famous Babel tower and we still on the way.
In Eastern Weasel’s group activity and art production it is always the hardest practice to explore the inner perception of the world by each artist in sort of function for living.In this case the distorted figures with flashes of colors that stings viewer’s eyes and bites the attention with an itchy feeling of understanding seems like a Déjà Vu to me despite of my totally different back ground or personal experience. Just like the feeling I have by looking at naïve or tribal art which could be described as the other side of civilization. This landscape of mess and misshapenness is more familiar than ignoring it. Thus this non-aesthetically beauty does make sense in the archaic context of human being art history as the story of finding resemblance in difference.