February 7, 2010 - March 21, 2010
CCS Bard Galleries

For All The Wrong Reasons is an interpretive framework around two abstract paintings by the Iranian politician/artist Mir-Hossein Mousavi. In addition to the presentation of the two paintings and selected ephemera, the exhibition also includes an installation by the Brooklyn-based artist Clifford Borress, whose work explores interpretation as an art form, departing from Mousavi’s paintings and artist statement.

Mousavi is now internationally recognized as a politician but preceding his political life pursued a less well-known artistic career. As a 1969 architecture graduate from Melli University (National University), Mousavi mounted his first painting exhibition in the late nineteen-sixties, and he expressed his opinions on art in forms of writing and open discussions mostly held at the avant-garde artist-run Ghandriz Gallery in Tehran.

On the one hand his abstractions recall the geometric abstractions of constructivism and on the other he is referencing concepts of the accidental in Far Eastern art.

Through the use of collage writing, installation and photography, Clifford Borress reveals a presence of implicit meanings and metaphor by proposing multiple variations. Borress’s work attempts to open art to a space of suggestions, through a disclosure of the sources of the artist’s production.

In addition to Mousavi’s paintings and Borress’s installations, For All The Wrong Reasons will also include printed background material on Mousavi, his artist statement and available historical facts. Video and audio guides will be available of interviews and discussions with Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Peter J Chelkowski, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, taking the two paintings by Mousavi as a point of departure to discuss issues of history, context and politics.

Through the presentation of the paintings, the ephemera and the installation by Clifford Borress, For All The Wrong Reasons examines the possibility of a reflection on a particular political context within the promise of an art exhibit.

For All The Wrong Reasons is curated by Sohrab Mohebbi as part of the requirements for the master of arts degree in curatorial studies.

Student-curated projects at CCS Bard are made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund; the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation; the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation; the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies, and by the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends. Special thanks to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.