It is difficult to know where one piece of art starts or ends with the practice of Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian. Just as, when the trio work together, it is impossible to tell which artist produces what. The three function almost as one whole, living together in their villa-cum-studio in Dubai and bouncing ideas continually between each other, often through role play and always through protracted, or never-ending conversations. This means that their practice has a kind of ongoing quality, where the same ideas appear in each exhibition only in a morphed and mutated format so that each new presentation is an extension of the last.
The current exhibition – if, indeed, you can call it that – is titled We Are Open For Installation. Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde announced in a statement that they will “cease to operate as an art gallery, in an attempt to unsettle the dictatorial art system and to reconnect with the fundamental process of art making”. As such, the trio will occupy the gallery space until mid-September working, “living and breathing” and creating an immersive installation as time goes on.
The display in the gallery when it opened on May 15 contained several artworks punctuated with holes and cavities, all placed on a cerise pink floor, which will eventually be painted and lacquered and taken as a piece of art for an exhibition in London next year. The artworks themselves are made from material that has appeared in other shows and also that derive from their installations exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial in 2016. There, overburdened with the pressures of deadlines and anxiety of working with other curators, the trio decided to smuggle artworks inside other artworks as a way of undermining the system (the registrar, customs, curators). The occupation of the commercial space in Alserkal Avenue is a similarly subversive act of rebellion and they will keep audiences guessing throughout the summer as to what they will reveal. The work will culminate in an closing presentation due to be unveiled on September 16.
Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian. We Are Open For Installation. May 15 – September 16, 2019.