Kianoosh Motallebi (Iran, UK, NL)

Kianoosh Motallebi’s first VRT residency was characterised by his need to problematise the notion of productivity concerning the presence of an artist in a new and exotic place. What might legitimise his presence there, and what might be conceived of as an adequate response to this place? To what extent is artistic production related to the specificities of a place and to what extent is it a continuation of preoccupations which the artist would have at any other place? To what extent, as a visiting artist, is one exploiting a place and its occupants, to develop one’s own artistic career? This reflection on the pros and cons of the artist/tourist has become a project in itself, documented abundantly in the transcriptions of our discussions and interviews.

work in progress:

‘Using local facilities I want to produce a series of rudimentary objects made from steel that will be positioned in and around Cape Town. The locations they will be placed will correspond or have some association in response to the time i have spent in Cape Town as a part of the Very Real Time residency. I have lived all my life in Europe and reflections on the vast distance between my home and Cape Town led me to thinking about the weight or gravity that keeps me pinned to this earth. By making and placing these very heavy objects (roughly a ton each ) in key locations in Cape Town I think about their weight also drawn to the ground. The true monument of this piece is gravity, an unchanging law to which all is subject. At the same time it refers to the temporary nature of an individual life. It is important to make this piece as a visitor to Cape Town. I am also a temporary entity in this place and my previous presence - the places which I visited or frequented when I lived here for a short time - is where these objects now rest.’