Review by Iraj Kalantari on Simin

I came to know Simin Ekrami through her works and was moved by the impressions I got from them. It was in this way that a deep rooted contact was established between us. That’s why I accepted the task to express my opinions about her works in a few lines.
This is a task that requires both the ability of discernment and expression in words and my limitation in both make it harder for me.

“Art has nothing to do with intellectual activities and as a rule it should not be taught at universities. In praxis, art should be learnt through practice and experience. In the same way that understanding music can not be learnt. One should not talk about art, but get involved with it in practice.
The reason for my sophistry is that there is no other way for communication.*”
Among visual arts, sculpture shares many similarities with architecture. The dimensional appearance of the work of an architect and a sculptor is important both in the sense of the process of production and the final product. The reason is that one of the artist’s main concerns from the beginning is the way the work would merge with the surrounding or how it would affect it.
In the process of production, the primary idea proceeds with the help of drawing and practice and at the end with the choice of material on the basis of the artist’s plan, the work finally finds a physical manifestation.
However, for Simin the process works differently. She shapes the material without using the medium of drawing. In her creative work she has no options other than leaving out all justifications. She has accepted that sculpture too is a kind of a business involving a series of artistic decisions. The artist has to decide and she is strong enough to make the decision without relying on anything else. By looking at a piece of stone or a tree trunk, she feels the “shape” and movement restrained in it, and skillfully proceeds to remove all other superfluous parts to give birth to that concealed sculpture.
Her zeal for work is the real secret of her ability. Simin’s creations all possess a strong sensual weight which in the work of professional artists is usually overshadowed by their technical skills and mental formation.
In other words, through experience, professional artists develop a logical framework by which they can judge right and wrong decisions in creating art. This logical framework can sometimes suppress the artist’s fanciful flights and emotional eruptions. That is why one may say that the works of amateur artists possess more sensual weight than their professional counterparts.
Simin is one of those professional artists who is more interested in sensual fulfillment despite her mastery and technical skills. That is why her creative desire and the resulting excitement win over all logical restrains, giving her works an extraordinary sensual weight.
It was by virtue of this sensual weight that I came to appreciate her works and only later discovered their technical fineness.
I believe it is the artist’s responsibility to beautify the surrounding so that future generation would experience the same excitement from their inherited works of art which I experience when looking at bas-reliefs in Persepolis or Taq-e bostan.
Iraj Kalantari

*Philip Johnsen