Saturday, 18 July 2015
28 October 2020
Kooche Mahtabi- one, two, three: „Behrouz Heshmat“,

”Beloved yet ”rough around the edges” Sculptor ”

2010 July 21

Ardavan Taheri/ Radio Kooche

Translated from Persian by Avideh Motmaen-Far

On the eighth of July 2010 , at seven o’clock on this hot summer evening, in the front yard of the Artists House (Künstlerhaus) in Vienna, three iron statues were inaugurated after the lecture of “Joachim Lothar Gartner», head of the Artists House. „Behrouz Heshmat“ , a prominent Iranian sculptor who lives in Austria, has exposed his art work “One, two, three” publicly, for the first time. This was the opportunity to interview him for Radio Kooche. But I have to inform you that this interview was done in a restaurant as requested by the sculptor himself, so the sound quality is not brilliant but the artist’s tone and peculiar look into the value of art and human beings is certainly worth listening to.

There have already been other exhibits of „Behrouz Heshmat“’s art work in public places. I asked him about the work of art he inaugurated last year in Berlin:

”The statue is a veiled woman whose head is a house. It means that her head should be at home and her life is at home, in an encapsulated space. The house has boundaries, the woman is only free inside these boundaries; out of the house, she loses her freedom.”

When I asked him if he was talking about Iranian women, he says:

”A woman who has been packed and covered by men’s dogma.”

I asked him about the sculptures or to quote him – “columns installed in front of the Artists House in Vienna” – and he explained:

”The story is about the columns; Columns always say: ”the keepers kept it well”. About how they stand together. The poem is another story. But in these columns, you see a movement, a fracture, a cut, but even cut, they are standing. Playing with the movement. The iron that is clumsy, and is hard, starts to dance; plays on air .. That’s the reason I have called it ”One, two, three”. We start running with ”one, two, three”;  we get up with ”one, two, three”; and the movements keep them standing, they are in movement and they are standing still at the same time. It’s a little thing that keeps them together and that thing is Hope. I always ask myself this important question ”where are we cut and where do we join?” It’s hope that keeps us alive and in motion.”

This was „Behrouz Heshmat“’s answer when I asked about the arrangement of  ”one, two, three” columns:


”Numbers are always very important for me in my work. Here ”one, two, three” are three sculptures and

each of them has three movements and in front of the Artists House there are four statues and one of them is Leonardo’s(da Vinci), each of them is part of art history…”

That is when he left me alone to go to talk to a friend of his who just entered the restaurant.

He left me alone to talk with other people in the middle of our interview several times, that is why I asked him for permission to use the expression ”rough around the edges” to describe him  and he agreed. After a few minutes of  interruption in our interview, the Sculptor talked about his choice of art work to expose in front of the Artists House:

”As I am a member of the Artists House, and any member can suggest to expose the art work there; ”an exhibition” in front of Artists House.”

Since 1992, this is the second time that art works of „Behrouz Heshmat“are exposed in Karlsplatz in Vienna. He explains the reason of this exhibition for the audiences of Radio Kooche:

”Exposing your art work is an artist’s duty. It’s the continuity of your life’s work. As an artist, you have to exhibit your work. You employ yourself. You give yourself a job. You exploit yourself. In order to organize an exhibit, you work a year or two and you enter the scene again announcing ” I am in ”.  If no one hears about you for a year or two, people think you are dead.”

I asked him to talk about a short film named ”Zug” (the train) that I saw on his website. In this film we see a well-known art work of this Sculptor. A train is moving on a rail that joins a few metal tree houses together and finally enters the gas chambers of the well-known ”Auschwitz” concentration camp. In this film we see an Austrian Gypsy woman who has spent two years during her childhood in the death camp.  „Behrouz Heshmat“ says:

”This movie, contrary to other movies is about Gypsies. A Gypsy woman. Lots of films have been made about Jews but very little has been made about the Gypsies who have been kept in death camps.”

He explains that this lady who is a painter was captured and held in the death camp when she was only six years old.

”This lady talks about her life. She is the only survivor and goes to the schools and talks about her life;

How she was tortured, how life was in prison  and how she was rescued. And this is part of my duty as an artist.  A part of art is to inform and another part is to hold back…”

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