The couture line that Balenciaga launched this summer is another thing that has permanent residency in my brain. I think that what Demna [Gvasalia, creative director] is doing with sculpture and architecture through fashion is some of the most interesting theatre of our time. It’s like a marriage of Romantic and gothic style – it’s a bit ecclesiastical, almost monastic, and I want it all. There’s this really wonderful circular headpiece that feels like: “I’m going to service, but in the year 3021.”
Parvis Tanavoli in his Vancouver studio: the Iranian artist has been banned from leaving Iran
The Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli has been prevented from leaving his home country after a Tehran art dealer brought lengthy legal proceedings claiming $6m worth of art from him, the artist tells The Art Newspaper.
Tanavoli tried to leave Tehran Airport in late July on a British Airways flight to London but, after he checked in and his bags were boarded, his passport was confiscated by Iranian authorities. He was informed that a travel ban had been enforced against him on charges of “the spreading of disinformation”.
The case was brought against Tanavoli, who holds the auction record for a Middle Eastern artist, by a former Tehran gallery owner, Maryam Goudarzi. Accounts of the complex proceedings, which date back to 2014, have been reported on the popular Iranian newsite, Tabnak, and in an online petition launched by Tanavolis students.
Tanavoli says he has now learned this ongoing legal dispute was the reason he was previously prevented from leaving the country in 2015. In 2017 the case brought against him by Goudarzi—centred on a disputed contract from around three years ago agreeing to swap six copper sculptures by Tanavoli, owned by Goudarzi and dating to 1972, for five more recent works by him—was thrown out by a lower court. However, after several failed attempts by Goudarzi resurrected in a court of appeal without the artists knowing, he says.
"We went to court and I won the case but in my absence the woman went to a superior court and then she got me into trouble,” Tanavoli says, adding that Goudarzi was using the case to “intimidate” him.
The 81-year-old artist lives for most of the year in Iran, where he teaches and has a studio, but in the summer he typically travels to Europe and Canada to see his family. He was planning a trip to Vancouver, his second home, where he is also preparing for an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Vancouver.
Since the incident in late July, Tanavolis lawyers have been urgently seeking permission for him to leave the country, he says. "I made some enquiries and everyone told me you are alright you can leave, but when I went to the airport and got the boarding pass and checked in, they put it in the computer, then they said you cant leave.”
Tandis Tanavoli, the artists daughter, has suggested the case would be a “disaster for art in Iran”, and could open up decades-old deals to the possibility of fraud proceedings.
In response, Goudarzi tells The Art Newspaper: “Fortunately I won after a very long and painful process. Tanavoli is bound to restore [to Goudarzi] the six pieces in conflict, or pay for the financial value”. She calls the artist “criminal” and suggested the seizure of the property was imminent. “Its not a very complicated thing to need all this controversy" she says.
The case, according to details in Tabnak and provided by Tanavoli and his assistants, began about three years ago when Goudarzi approached the artist saying that she had bought six of his early copper sculptures for IRR8000,000,000 (about $270,000) for her collection but had not been able to sell them.
The six works dated from 1972, before the Iranian revolution, and had originally belonged to a wealthy family whose home was confiscated by the government and then demolished. Titled Three Girls and Three Boys, it appears they are actually sections of a single wall work.
Goudarzi first asked Tanavoli to buy the sculptures from her, but instead he proposed exchanging them for more recent works. A contract was signed to exchange the six copper sculptures for five new works. It is claimed she later returned to court saying that the substitute works were worth less, and that she had buyers for the original six sculptures so wanted them back.
The appeal court ruling against Tanavoli reads “…dissimulation and fraud is evident and proved in this case” and states he must return the artworks, valued by the court at $6m.
"I think she [Goudarzi] wants, first of all, to intimidate me and wants to get a lot of money out of me,” Tanavoli says. “She knows that I like to leave the country during my holidays and join my family, she has found out that, and so she is doing this at this time.”
Goudarzi signed the original contract with her partner Amir Bahman Amirian, who founded the Iranshahr Gallery in Tehran. He tells The Art Newspaper he had no involvement in the case.
On my radar: Moses Sumney’s cultural highlights
theguardian– Singer-songwriter Moses Sumney, 29, grew up between Ghana and California and studied creative writing and poetry at UCLA. His piercing falsetto and genre-defying music have brought him critical acclaim, starting with his self-recorded 2014 EP Mid-City Island, followed in 2017 by his debut album, Aromanticism, and the 2020 double album Græ. Sumney has collaborated with musicians including Bon Iver and James Blake and toured with Solange and Sufjan Stevens. His latest project is Blackalachia, a self-directed concert film created in association with WePresent, shot over two days in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, where he lives.
Selling Sunset (Netflix)
I pity anyone who hasn’t seen this show. It’s a reality show about a real estate agency in west Hollywood, and it follows the lives and deals of the people who work there, predominantly the female staff who are all ridiculously Barbie-ish – essentially “career Barbie on crack”. It’s incredible. I love reality TV – it tells us a lot about humanity. Reality shows are always inherently dated, so they’re a great capsule of the modern era.
Don’t Be So Hard On Your Own Beauty by Yeule
I don’t know what it is about this song, but I’m addicted to it. Yeule is a Singaporean artist based in London who’s kind of new on the scene, and this song is just so hypnotising – it hints and winks at hyperpop while being an absolutely heart-shattering folk tune. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of a lot of different genres, and it’s stunning. I have a lot of playlists – for driving, for chilling at night, a morning playlist, a folk playlist – and this is in all of them.
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
I’m currently reading this – I put off reading it because it looks like a self-help book – but it’s really fascinating. The author is an artist who works largely in digital art and the book is about how to free yourself from the capitalist trappings of the workforce – not necessarily saying “quit your job”, but suggesting a new path for work. It asks the question: how can we construct our identities apart from defining ourselves by what we do and by our income? It’s a very radical book, and it’s often a hard read. But it has been mind-shifting.
Western North Carolina
I’ve been travelling a lot for work, so I’ve been thinking about how much I would prefer to spend my time in western North Carolina, particularly in the mountains, where I live. I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world. I first arrived in Asheville when I was on tour and knew immediately I wanted to live here. You turn around, 360 degrees in any direction, and you’re surrounded by trees, by the sound of animals, and that’s really a rare feeling for anyone who’s spent most of their life, as I have, living in the city.
Eve’s Bayou (Kasi Lemmons, 1997)
This stars a young Jurnee Smollett, who recently had a resurgence with Lovecraft Country. She’s 10 years old in the film, which is set in a fictional small town in Louisiana. Samuel L Jackson stars as the patriarch of the family, who is maybe cheating on his wife, his daughter sets out to kill him and punish him, perhaps through witchcraft. It was incredibly critically acclaimed and subsequently snubbed by every major award ceremony. It’s a gorgeous, heartbreaking film. I first saw it last year and I think about it every day.
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Hong Kong’s famous Tiananmen Square ‘Pillar of Shame’ statue removed from university
Il Divo singer Carlos Marin dies aged 53
bbc– Il Divo’s Carlos Marin has died aged 53, the classical group has announced.
Marin would be “missed by his friends, family and fans”, a statement on social media said. “There will never be another voice or spirit like Carlos.”
The group had said they were praying for Marin’s recovery after he was admitted to hospital this month leading them to postpone a UK Christmas tour.
The male quartet was brought together by Simon Cowell in 2003 and achieved three UK number one albums.
Marin was born in Germany, but moved to Spain at the age of 12 and was a baritone in the group, performing alongside tenors Urs Buhler and David Miller, and pop singer Sebastien Izambard.
“Singing is my way of saying what I feel, my way of life,” he is quoted as saying on the group’s website.
“Singing is what makes me feel alive, so thank you for letting me continue making a living from what I love.”
Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Marin had been taken ill during the UK tour and placed into an induced coma at a hospital in Manchester. The nature of his illness has not been disclosed.
Il Divo’s international composition helped them achieve notable success across several worldwide tours.
Their hits included Regresa a Mi (Unbreak My Heart), The Time Of Our Lives, and I Believe In You – a duet with Celine Dion – as well as a version of Adele’s Hello.
They sold more than 30 million records, and had 160 gold and platinum discs across more than 33 countries, the group’s website said.
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