Scan     |     Installation     |     1990

The Iranian artist Shahin Charmi has opened up in the past few years with the medium of video a new possibility of articulation, which he exploits with consistency and conviction. The fact that he has also achieved supraregional success with his work is evidenced by an award from the Gladbeck Museum, which has now honored his work „Auflösung" (created in 1988) with the „Goldenen Plotter“. Charmi takes a position with his art, but is still far from placative-plump political agitation.
An American documentary, showing the inmates passage from death row to execution, served Charmi as source material. On seven monitors, stacked to a high column, this movie sequence runs off. Charmi does not have a brutal shock effect in his mind; he assigns the observer the role of a keyhole-watcher, who can only follow the monstrous event in a tiny detail. So he disclose the actual film form mere in a narrow vertical strip that slowly and evenly scans the screen. On the white projection screen next to the monitor column huge still images of this film are projected. Acoustically underpinned by monotonous electronic sounds, a visual event unfolds right in front of the eyes, aesthetically alienating sober image material, but without completely masking its origin.
An artist in the service of human rights? "The message does not restrict my aesthetic aspirations," says Shahin Charmi.
Maren Kruse, 1990