Hossein Valamanesh: Char Soo

Carriageworks, Adelaide Film Festival, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia in association with Sydney Film Festival and produced by Felix Media present the Sydney premiere of HOSSEIN VALAMANESH (in collaboration with Nassiem Valamanesh): CHAR SOO, 2015.


This video installation places viewers in a four-sided Iranian bazaar to contemplate movement, human interaction and the passing of time. The viewer is immersed in the grand bazaar’s scenes and sounds.

Presented from 9 June–17 July 2016, Char Soo is a metaphor for Iran, a country which has been subject to invasion, religious and cultural interaction for centuries.

‘Char Soo’ means ‘four directions’ or ‘four sides’. In terms of a bazaar, the char soo is its main intersection. Made in 2015 in collaboration with his son Nassiem, Hossein Valamanesh’s video installation films all four directions of the intersection, and then places the audience at its centre. Watching four stationary camera shots, the viewer is immersed in the grand bazaar’s scenes and sounds.

Char Soo’s sounds are ambient, and it has neither protagonists nor narration. It is filmed with a normal lens at eye level, without any intervention in the bazaar activity or any changes in the rhythm of its traffic. We seem to encounter a segment of life exactly as it is. However, Char Soo’s apparent dissolves, compression of time, inserts, and the fact that its subjects notice the cameras are constant self-referential reminders that it does not pretend to be a true-to-life presentation.

Also part of the exhibition is Valamanesh’s work Passing Time (2011), a video within a black box that shows the artist’s hands and fingers continuously forming and reforming the infinity sign. There is no beginning or ending as the video plays on a continuous loop, reflecting again upon time and movement, allowing for a quiet place of contemplation and simplicity.


9 JUNE–17 JULY 2016, 10AM–6PM DAILY