Va Project

“Chi Shi”
Mirhadi Mahabadi
Electric Room 40/50 (A Dastan:Outside Project)
July 13 – 18, 2018
In Collaboration with Va Space (Isfahan, Iran)

View Exhibition Page on Dastan Website
View Press Release (Farsi/English)

Dastan in collaboration with Va Space and Residency is pleased to announce “Chi Shi*”, a presentation by Mirhadi Mahabadi at Electric Room. The installation will be open to public view from July 13 to 18, 2018.
Mirhadi Mahabadi (b. 1970, Isfahan, Iran) went to technical school to study engineering and learned the basics of architectural devices, technical drawing and traditional masonry. Nevertheless, he soon transferred to art school to study Iranian Painting. Architecture, technical drawing, patterns and traditional methods have had a deep impact on his artistic practice ever since. In addition to working as a painter and drawing artist, he has worked extensively in architecture, traditional carpentry, and metal work.
Mirhadi Mahabadi has always had an almost extreme penchant for making devices and machines with an architectural spirit. Consequently, he creates many of his tools and devices himself. Following this path, he has been developing a special desk for his work through the years gradually adding a diverse set of qualities to it. He uses the desk for painting, paint-making, carpentry, cutting, making tools and many other types of work.
The same square-shaped desk became the fundamental inspiration for creating “Chi Shi”. The desk includes lighting devices and a wire in the center that was used for adjusting light and as a plummet reference line. His explorations during the process of his work caused the discovery of the hidden force in “Chi Shi” —a movement based on nature, gravity and orbit which was also relevant to the artist’s studies in geometry, drawing and form.
In “Chi Shi”, a plumb bob funnel filled with fine sand moves over a structure in different orbits after an initial force, drawing on it with the sand. The excess sand gradually moves down from the surface’s sides into a larger funnel to a sifter and piled underneath. After the smaller funnel’s motion stops, the surface is picked-up and the sand is poured into the larger funnel, destroying the work. The work is then created anew after a hesitation.
Besides “Chi Shi”, Mirhadi Mahabadi’s studies for re-creating a traditional water pumping system are presented. The pieces which the artist designed and created himself, act as an alternative view of the type of geometrical movement seen in “Chi Shi”. In the traditional pumping system, water uses gravity to work against it, taking water from the stream to a higher altitude.
In a mystical reading of the presentation, Mohammad Bahabadi who has been a close friend of the artist writes: “Parts cannot comprehend the integrated immaculate geometry of the cosmos. Each phenomenon merely expresses awe limited by its own finite understanding. No doubt, all particles only —and only— orbit in compassion, and the universe only lives to love.”

* “Chi Shi” is a reference to the question-making word in Central Iranian dialect —used mostly in Isfahan and Yazd— which literally translates to “what?” or “what is this?”

All Images below Courtesy of Dastan’s Basement and Electric Room. Photos by Matin Jameie. Copyright 2018 Dastan’s Basement & Electric Room.