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title. Pocket Memories Project.*



*Farshido's Master thesis project.


All the heart of conceptual Art is the thought that “the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work”, as the conceptual artist Sol LeWitt once put it. This thesis also includes conceptual works; but Idea and material are both the important aspects of these Artworks.

First of all, I should say that all of them come from a story, so each one carries a complete story or at least a part of it. What seems to be involved is a kind of “downgrading of the importance of the artwork, the physical object (e.g., a picture, a sculpture), as the proper object of aesthetic appreciation.

The material used for these artworks is lightweight, ephemeral, cheap, unpretentious, unique, and dematerialised.

Each piece contains at least one object. Each of the objects on display has a story. Those objects were already the belongings of some asylum seekers & immigrants who brought them with themselves. So even as objects and before their transformation into artworks, they already had a value. A value that had been given to them by their owners who chose them as company for a new journey, for a new life abroad. Hence besides the story each of them has a history too. Certainly they had some characteristics that made them special, that motivated their owners choose them as company. Of-Course those immigrants may have had other choices too. They may have had different objects but they were limited and they had to choose one or two objects to bring at most. So the priority must have been with the objects that had a meaning, a story, and above all a soul; for a dead company is not considered a good one. The artist is not the owner of those objects and he doesn’t carry the nostalgia that the owners do, but he detects their soul, he understands their meaning and story, he feels the nostalgia they have created for their owners for sure. I was supposed to be that artist. I talked with those immigrants and we shared our feelings and interpretations of the objects and their stories. One of them is Hessam who comes from a family of photographers, he was allowed to bring only one backpack and its probable contents and he did so. It contained a few photographs. His choice of objects were also special.

Hessam Samavatian Memorial Backpack- Pho

The backpack implied the concept of journey and it referred to emigration indirectly.

inside the backpack.

by Farshido Hessam*



I also had another idea for the presentation, which was the accompaniment of the mere objects as relics with my artworks on display for the exhibition day. But could I benefit from such accompaniment to stimulate the viewers’ minds? Sure I could. When a viewer sees them together he or she can imagine the history or the story of the object’s emigration to the world of art. Therefor they will have a more precise observation and a better perception of this transformation process, I have created some miniaturish artworks. They are totally independent in the identity they present as artworks but there were some sources of inspiration that made the horizon and perspective of my thesis clearer and more distinct.

I am going to mention them here:

The first one is the Persian miniature that is truly a valuable source of inspiration for me and I’ll be proud of my works to be interpreted in that field of Persian Art.

The other inspiring category was the attitude of the ancient artists and craftsmen who used to design or draw on the objects they used in their daily life. Objects such as tobacco box, snuff box, jar, bowl, ornaments like necklace, perfume bottle, bag, etc. The study of Contemporary Artists such as Jean-luc moulène from France, Markus Schinwald from Austria and Imran Qureshi from Pakistan and their artistic approach toward the aesthetics of objects have impressed my decisiveness to objectify my aim for I found out I share this sympathy with them when it comes to the Aesthetics of objects. 

What is common between us, what truly forms our sympathy is the ontology we believe in. Our everyday notion of art involves thinking of works of art as spatio-temporal objects, of one finds on walls or plinths in museums and art galleries. The object is the means, or the medium, by which the artist communicates his or her ideas. In my case the idea had a root in the concept of immigration and the consequent nostalgia. When a critic says that the most important characteristic of my art is the dematerialisation of the materials, which I truly agree on, it reminds me of Joseph Kosuth’s comment that “ The art idea and art are the same.”

click here too see the Thesis presentation for jury →​

at Semperdepot Vienna

Thesis defence video:


Duration: 00:37:33

Dokumentar Film

Haus Liebhartstal, Vienna

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