Nov 08 2017

Rokni Haerizadeh Wins Inaugural Officine Grandi Riparazioni Award

by Alice Dingle

ROKNI HAERIZADEH is the winner of the first Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) Award. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai.

Tehran-born, Dubai-based artist Rokni Haerizadeh has won the inaugural Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) Award. Presented on November 5, Haerizadeh’s winning submission includes works from his ongoing “Fictionville” series (2009– ), which were “chosen for their engaging images that find overtones in the contemporary world.” Haerizadeh’s prize-winning work has been acquired as part of Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT, to be housed in the OGR’s new gallery space in Turin.

Haerizadeh’s practice of paintings, gesso-on-paper works, collages and stop-motion animations address the political landscape of his native Iran and the greater Middle Eastern region. The “Fictionville” series reimagines imagery from news events and current affairs via mythological interpretations; the paintings reveal human-beast hybrids in familiar settings, as a comment on the corruption that surrounds us.

The artist’s prize-winning work from his ongoing “Fictionville” series (2009– ) will be displayed in OGR’s exhibition space in Turin. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai.

OGR is a redeveloped industrial site that contributed to Turin’s growth in the 19th century. In the early 1990s, the buildings of what is now OGR were set to be demolished after years of disuse. However, the site was purchased by Fondazione CRT in 2013, and then appropriated as a cultural hub for the city. The newly formed OGR Award was part of the 2017 edition of the Artissima art fair, where international juries awarded seven prizes to participating artists and galleries. The OGR Award’s jurors included New York-based curator Fawz Kabra, independent contemporary art and architecture curator Abaseh Mirvali, and OGR artistic director Nicola Ricciardi.

Haerizadeh’s works have recently been mounted at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, as part of the 2016 exhibition “But a Storm Is Blowing From Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa.” The artist regularly collaborates with his brother Ramin and friend Hesam Rahmanian, all of whom live and work in Dubai, in exile from Iran.

Alice Dingle is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

Artissima 2017 took place from November 3 to 5, 2017, in Turin.

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