Preparing our own exhibition: the Chisenhale Gallery visit

Today we visited the exhibition Seep by Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi at Chisenhale Gallery, tucked away in a small street. The gallery is the closest gallery to Lauriston—just a stone’s throw across Victoria Park—and we were able to take advantage of the good weather by walking to the exhibition.

The exhibition, by two Iranian artists now practising in Rotterdam, documented two different relationships between Iran and European Western Modernism, through exploring the archives of BP the oil company and the collection of Modern Western art belonging to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary art. The artists were interested in the way that both archives have been suspended or removed.

Although the exhibition dealt with complex issues, often in a conceptual manner, it generated a lot of lively interest with the children. Footage of one video documenting a journey to Iran also depicted the way oil rises—or seeps—naturally to the ground surface without human extraction, and provoked much curiosity, whilst there were lots of questions about the model of the interior skeleton of the Tehran Museum which led to the basement where the collection of Western Modern art was sequestered.

We used the exhibition to stimulate questions, ideas and discussion about the pupils forthcoming exhibition. What kind of exhibition would they curate if they could create their very own exhibition? What themes would interest them and how would they like to express these themes? We look forward to unveiling the fruits of their efforts soon!

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