Biennale of Sydney

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian. Photograph: Zan Wimberley

Ramin Haerizadeh

Born 1975 in Tehran, Iran
Lives and works in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rokni Haerizadeh

Born 1978 in Tehran, Iran
Lives and works in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hesam Rahmanian

Born 1980 in Knoxville, United States
Lives and works in Dubai, United Arab Emirates


"From Sea to Dawn is a moving painting – a montage where every single frame is an individual painting without tracing the movements of the source material. Through interruption and distortion, this work aims to transform and estrange the familiar in order to create an obstacle, to make the viewer rethink the issue from a new standpoint and evoke different emotions."

For the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Dubai-based artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian present installations at Campbelltown Art Centre and the Powerhouse Museum. Exhibited at Campbelltown Art Centre, From Sea to Dawn engages over 2000 altered frames of footage to intervene in and subvert media imagery of migrants and representations of the European refugee crisis. Often sensational at the expense of those fleeing war and disaster, the abundance of such imagery throughout popular media outlets can desensitise and dehumanise the people requiring support, and who do not have access to means of self-representation themselves. This video work becomes a moving ‘painting’ – a painted and inky surface that interrupts, distorts, and mirrors in on itself like a Rorschach image (a psychological test that looks like a butterfly image made from inkblots which is then analysed using psychological interpretation or algorithms) or the visual language drawn from Islamic cultural imagery, architecture and geometry. From Sea to Dawn both protects the subjects and their devastating journey, while also imbuing the news source material with possibilities of beauty and empathy.

Incorporating and disorganising objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian's expansive installation I Prefer Talking to Doctors About Something Else takes the form of visual poetry. This project, includes artefacts such as Skylab space debris, a donkey’s hoof, anatomical models, ceramics, and textiles. Their project institutes a sweeping arc across themes of grief, the body and healing.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian have been working and living in Dubai since 2009. The seeds of their language were sown as early as 1999, back in Iran. Their practice offers up a novel redefinition of the collective, as theirs is constantly growing and contracting to incorporate friends, writers, and artists at large. For the past decade, they have lived through a self-designed discipline, defining strategies of object making and naming their own terms for their approach.

Courtesy the artists; Galerie In Situ Fabienne Leclerc, Paris; and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai.

Exhibited Artwork

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, From Sea to Dawn, 2016-17

Dubai-based artists Ramin, Rokni and Hesam’s collaborative work is created using artefacts from the Powerhouse Museum’s collection. Incorporating and disorganising objects, the artists make a sweeping arc across themes of grief, the body and healing. The installation also includes video work by Javad Azimi and Hamid Hosseini.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, From Sea to Dawn, 2016-17, single-channel digital video, colour 6:26 mins. Courtesy the artists; Galerie In Situ Fabienne Leclerc, Paris; and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai. Presented by the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from NIRIN 500 patrons

Photograph: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, From Sea to Dawn, 2016-17. Photograph: Zan Wimberley

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian,  I Prefer Talking to Doctors About Something Else, 2020

Dubai-based artists Ramin, Rokni and Hesam’s collaborative work is created using artefacts from the Powerhouse Museum’s collection. Incorporating and disorganising objects, the artists make a sweeping arc across themes of grief, the body and healing. The installation also includes video work by Javad Azimi and Hamid Hosseini.

Presented by Powerhouse Museum as part of NIRIN WIR, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney

Photograph: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, I Prefer Talking to Doctors About Something Else, 2020. Photograph: Emily McTaggart

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