Asieh Salimian: I am an artist who moved to the Iranian capital to study there. I've worked for many exhibitions in Tehran, but the atmosphere of the art scene did not convince me. The artists' work was based solely on relationships, not expertise, ability or concept. Art as a process, from idea to museum and artist as moderator of intercultural dialogues, commentator, catalyst of provocation and not integrated into a hierarchical infrastructure of art production. I was very disappointed to see these issues until we decided to launch the Factory TT. Initially, it was small steps, a series of talks with Iranian artists that we realized in Berlin, or workshops, classes, talks and art actions we did with local artists in Tehran and Isfahan. With regard to the situation, art practice, artist and exhibition and gallery and public presentation in Iran, only a handful of galleries and institutes are available to show contemporary works.
The current situation in Iran shows similar tendencies in terms of history development, social and political engagement, ecological awareness, civil rights, etc. that have led to a change in contemporary art over the last fifty years. The confrontation with current topics is taken up by the Iranian art scene, mutated and practiced with minimal change as contemporary Iranian art. These practices are incorporated by universities and galleries and there is no independent art arena. Art schools and art galleries are in line with market-oriented commercial production. The art education and the universities are run by practicing artists in an established market where their students present their theses and immediately exhibit them in a stagnant and familiar environment. This is very close to the education that existed in the classical art academies. Its functions are based on history, tradition and crafts, which contribute to the established parameters. There is no room to experiment or deal with difficult issues where the primary ambition is to sell.