Archway: Navid Azimi Sajadi-Baris Saribas

"Archway" project 
08.03. – 28.04.2019 

Barış Sarıbaş (Türkiye) & Navid Azimi Sajadi (İran) 

“Archway” is a collaborative project by Iranian artist Navid Azimi Sajadi and Turkish artist Baris Saribas. The project is the result of the collaboration from 2016 based on their manneristic studio practices that focuses on the physical acts of painting or creating sculptural forms. In this project, they have taken painting as the most recognizable and obvious form of creating art, but nonetheless have in part moved away from painting in presenting a number of installation based on their practice and work. 

The Muraqqa was created to connect artists’ work through a ‘binding’, in contrast to when large workshops were formed to commission the ultimate artistic books that were very common through Iran during the Safavid Period. Muraqqa pieces were gathered, reconstructed into a book, cut, redecorated and bound together to form a new piece —an album that could very well contain a diversity of subject matter, poetic verse, and paintings that could have been created by artists from multiple ‘schools’ of miniature painting —be it Persian or Ottoman. 

After the Ottoman Empire’s success in gaining control over parts of Western Iran, many Iranian miniature painters immigrated to work in the painting workshops of the Ottoman courts, sometimes working closely with Turkish artists, creating books of painting, and of course Muraqqa albums. This ‘diasporan’ community, has now formed with the joining of Rome-based Iranian artist Navid Azimi Sajadi and Turkish artist Baris Saribas. The two artists started their work based on the sixteenth-century practice of creating Muraqqa painting , with the project evolving into an imaginative court formed between the two, their cities, their cultural backgrounds, and the contemporary practices in creating art. 

Archway melts elements from public cultural acts and artistic practices such as literature, music, architecture into an extension of the two artists’ vision in meeting, conversing, and making. They have joined together in their imaginary court-sponsored workshop in Istanbul to present their latest ‘bound’ creations, a series of Muraqqas that seem ultimate in pulling subjects into a ‘private’ territory, as if actually delivering a book, or an album, to the viewer. 

Ashkan Zahraei, 2019