An Introduction to the Rest of the World: How to Speak in Persian Images


Workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich by Bavand Behpoor and Olaf Probst

20th and 21st February 2020


The workshop questioned the assumption of the universality of Contemporary Art, and asked whether that art has severed its ties with the locality of its origin or fatefully preserves and protects those bounds. It tried to show how Contemporary Art could been seen, or considered functioning, from the viewpoint of non-western cultures, as an extension of European art rather than a collection of artistic possibilities, art mediums and techniques accessible to all visual cultures. The two-day workshop aimed to demonstrate, through providing (as well as probing and excavating through) a collection of texts and images, how Contemporary Art in its dominant form can act as a blinding veil that covers other ways of seeing practiced by non-western visual cultures. Taking Persian art as its example and reference point, it asked whether and what European visual culture can “still” learn from other visual cultures, modes of art production and definition and function of art.