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An Exhibition and Silent Disco Inspired by a Deaf, Mute Farmer

'Those who danced were thought insane by those who could not hear the music' - Nietzsche

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From 19 -27 April, Asia House will host ‘No Man’s Land’ by Darvish Fakh, an exhibition and silent disco inspired by a deaf and mute Iranian farmer.

Darvish Fakhr is an award-winning contemporary artist who specialises in figurative realism. The artist has had previous exhibitions in both the US and UK and was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 2008 to paint Akram Khan for the gallery’s permanent collection.

An Exhibition-cum-Silent Disco Inspired by a Deaf, Mute Farmer
Darvish Fakhr painting

Iranian-American artist Darvish Fakhr’s ‘No Man’s Land’ is a body of work inspired by the story of Darvish Esfandiarpour, a deaf and mute Iranian farmer. Esfandiarpour owned land in the province of Kermanshah, which was taken during the Shah of Iran’s regime in 1963. Known as the White Revolution, the land grab left Esfandiarpour without any land fertile enough to raise crops, which forced the farmer and his family into poverty. Esfandiarpour’s response was one of unique resistance. Hanging heavy stones from dead trees, in a period spanning forty years, Esfandiarpour created what would be become known as the Stone Garden. He would also perform a ceremonial dance in an emotional response to his situation.

Fakhr visited the Stone Garden in 2016 and with references to Esfandiarpour, created the body of work in ‘No Man’s Land’, which deals with spacial conflict and the demarkation of battle lines. The exhibition examines ideas about the boundaries and tension caused by power imbalance. The works in the show will be paintings and charcoal drawings.

Desert 9, 100 by 150cm, charcoal, 2017 copy

Desert 9, 100 by 150cm, charcoal, 2017 copy

On Thursday 19 April, Fakhr will be joined by British dancer and choreographer Akram Khan MBE for a discussion on exploration and space through movement and art. The talk will be followed by a silent disco, which will celebrate movement in response to The Stone Garden. Movement is a key part of creative practice for Fakhr, who refers to his studio as his cosmic gym, an aphorism reflective of his process, which involves working with his body as well as paint.

‘The story of Darvish Esfandiarpour is one that has resonated with me since I first came across it. After visiting the Stone Garden myself in 2016, I was compelled to bring his story to a wider audience. His peaceful reaction to an aggressive act is one I think we can all learn from. The landscape of the region also speaks to me hauntingly of spirituality, Iran and a shared heritage.’- Fakhr

Home 200 by 200cm, oil, 2018

Home 200 by 200cm, oil, 2018

When & Where? Thursday 19 April – Friday 27 April 2018; Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP; Silent disco and talk with Akram Khan MBE and Darvish Fakhr, Thursday 19 April, 6pm – 10pm (Talk 6.45pm – 7.30pm, followed by silent disco until 10pm). Tickets – £12 general, £10 concessions and £6 Asia House members.