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Hootan Heydari

The Past is Present

Opening celebration: Saturday 4 February 3-5pm

FUTURES is excited to present a solo exhibition by Hootan Heydari, his first presentation with the gallery.  

For The Past is Present Heydari has created a suite of potent wall-mounted vitrines containing a repetition of objects that evoke personal and political pasts, orchestrated through a compulsive process of making. Each custom glass-fronted steel cabinet functions as one-part news headline and one-part journal entry. Inside lie saved or inherited artifacts and images creating minimal Wunderkammers that are time capsules of lived experience, imbued with the traces of their own history.

Looking back to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which was the year Heydari and his family consequently fled lran, this body of work layers multiple experiences of displacement with the echoes that reverberate into the now; the past and present fold into these cinematic tomes. 

Each object is obsessively worked. Pistachios are laboriously cast, family photos dipped in plaster, glass is gilded with gold, and Farsi text is delicately engraved. Heydari's gestures are steeped in biography and seen through a lens of history, taking up obfuscation as a revealing strategy.

Hootan Heydari (b. 1970, Tehran, Iran; lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne) is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, performance, installation sound and video. His practice incorporates family photographs, furniture and culturally symbolic objects to explore themes of migration, trauma, identity, compulsive acts of repetition and memory. Heydari holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours), RMIT University, Melbourne (2019) and is undertaking a Master of Fine Arts by Research at the Victorian College of Arts, at the University of Melbourne. Select solo exhibitions include Yeki Bood Yeki Nabood II, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne, 2022 and Your Afterprint Still Lingers, Alternating Current Art Space, Melbourne,2022. Select group exhibitions include To Resound, Unbound, Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), and Collapse and Collapse Again, Blindside Gallery, Melbourne, 2021.