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Urban Jealousy - the 1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran
3rd station: Belgrade, 3rd -10th of April 2009

Please see the official web site for more information and downloadable application forms.

Urban Jealousy
the 1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran
3rd station: Belgrade, 3rd -10th of April 2009
Curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Serhat Koksal

The theme of this biennial is URBAN JEALOUSY. A Jalousie * ("jealousy" in French) is a window that one can see through but not be seen; barriers that allow us to observe the world without being invited to the table. Iranian artists are given an understanding of what goes on in the world without being offered a single opportunity to communicate their thoughts-outside of our very own jalousie window: a rigid ethnic frame within an extremely politicized context.

Of all the huge urban areas around the world, Tehran stands out as a different kind of Megalopolis. It boasts one of the most dynamic art scenes in the Middle East even as the city itself deals with a rudimentary public transport system, an exploding population crisis, and an ever-increasing sprawl of mass housing; An unsightly city of experimental architecture that swallows entire villages and towns without offering them any sort of public services.

Despite its complicated urban situation-which according to experts has already spiraled out of control-artists' societies in Tehran continue to hold numerous biennials in semi-tribal fashion. A great number of these events are government-sponsored projects whose outlook and also their premises can shift 180 degrees from one year to the next. Each community has its own set of ceremonies, as a result of which, any sense of solidarity among the artists is lost.

The Tehran Visual Arts Festival, The Calligraphy Biennial, The Sculpture Biennial, The Cartoon Biennial, The Painting Biennial of the Islamic World, The Graphic Design Biennial, The Children's Books Illustration Biennial, The Painting Biennial, The Poster Biennial, The Poster Biennial of the Islamic World… the list is endless.

Although the legendary "TEHRAN BIENNIAL" goes back 50 years, not a single one of the above-mentioned events can be considered a biennial by prevailing and accepted international standards". An arts society recently published a call to boycott the upcoming Painting Biennial in order to demand a professionally curated exhibition, protesting the open call process and a "jury" they deemed unacceptable.

It seems impossible to have a proper Tehran biennial in Tehran, so our sprawling city and its elitist art scene remain excluded from the highly competitive art market in the region despite being surrounded from all sides by lucrative biennials and auctions. We may have great artists living and working in Iran, but we don't have a chance to share the profits.

Tehran, as one may suppose, does not seem interested in presenting itself as a desirable destination for cultural tourism, by playing it 'cool' like other global cities, or scramble to be hip by coughing up the membership dues to be in the international art market.

So, to jumpstart the process, and after a long discussion with my friend, Serhat Koksal - a critic of the global biennialization process - we decided to curate a 'mini', on the move, Tehran biennial. To not only stop complaining about the current situation but to benefit from the advantages of it. An independent, low- budget, traveling exhibition which can be presented almost anywhere. We will travel like nomads, carrying artwork, objects, texts, and whatever, in a package no bigger than a medium-sized suitcase, preferably weighing less than 20 Kg., so it can be carried on any cheap flight.

Urban Jealousy will end its journey in May 2010, but Tehran's Roaming Biennial will carry on.

Call for Art
Urban Jealousy in Belgrade
the 1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran
3rd -10th April 2009
Curated by Serhat koksal and Amirali Ghasemi
Dead lines:
15th of March 2009
for sending the online application via Email
25th of March 2009
By this time packages should be received in Belgrade.

3rd April
Magacin MKM, Kraljevica Marka 4 and 8
4th April
CZKD - Centar za Kulturnu Dekontaminaciju / Center for Cultural Decontamination,
Bircaninova 21
8th April
Dom Omladine - Screenings

A - Video / Short Films / slide show
The video works should be send in DVD / Pal with English subtitle and the maximum length is 7 min, participants for this category should submit a digital file for preview in Quick time format, this can be sent by Email or can be uploaded in a hosting server (See the rules below), otherwise it also can be sent to Parkingallery Address by post on a data CD/DVD.
B - Ambient Sound/Music composition /Audio Collage/Speech
participants for this category submit a digital file for preview in MP3 format, this can be sent by Email or can be uploaded in a hosting server (See the rules), otherwise it also can be sent to Parkingallery Address by post on a data CD/DVD.
C - Photography / Still frame:
participants should send a digital image/scan from their submission via E-mail and then the works are selected (See the rules), a hard copy of photos is requested with these specifications:
" For medium format photos: 20x20 cm
" For 135/digital photos: 20x30 cm
" Polaroid ( Original or a 20x20 reproduction in 20x20 cm )
D - Painting/Drawing/Illustration/Doodling/Sketch/3D Image/Cartoon/Comics
Because of the nature of the project:"The smaller, the better!" Participants should send a digital image/scan from their submission (See the rules), the maximum size for this category is A4. And art works should not be framed or mounted on cardboard (and works on canvas should be rolled and be sent without the wooden frame)
F - Poster/paste up:
A3 size poster to be posted in public space (each participants should send 2 hard copies of the poster)
along with the requested digital files
G-Postcards To The Tehran Biennial
For this category, participants are asked to select (or design), and send postcards to the imaginary "Tehran Biennial", expressing themselves, sharing what they think it should include, or how they think it should look like..
H - Stickers:
Each participant can submit up to 5 different stickers. These stickers will be posted in the destination cities where "Urban Jealousy" is being presented.


  1. This biennial is open to artists from around the world, from any country, and from any background and discipline.
  2. Every participant / or collaborative team can submit only ONE piece, in each category
  3. A digital image/ file of the work (Quick Time/JPG A4 300 dpi/MP3 128kps), Should be sent to The file shouldn't be larger than 10 MB for photos and digital images. For videos, maximum file size is 100 MB (using website or other services which allows us to download large attachments). The participants whose application is approved will be contacted through email for sending their original artwork to organizers.
  4. Artwork will not be returned until the end of the project: Around May of 2010. The organizer will not have the right to sell, distribute, use this material commercially, but they preserve the right to use the images/still frames/documentation/ extracts of audio and video-work in Press releases, publications, and the website of the project under the artist's name.
  5. Every participant is responsible for the information provided in the application form, which will be used for publications and the website, credits, etc. All work must be properly labeled with name, date, and medium.
  6. IMPORTANT: Every participant should submit a black and white portrait with the application, taken while they are pretending to be jealous of someone or something, in JPG 300 dpi, file size, 9x13 cm. These photos will be used in the catalog / website, as a side project to the main exhibition.

1- make sure that you filled the application form and send it to us by email ( only to ) before sending your works by post, we will contact you as soon as your work is approved.

2- DON'T FORGET to put a [No commercial value/ for exhibition purpose only] label on the packages and we can NOT pay for the costume fee and taxes related to your package and therefore your package will be returned.

3- Participants, who are applying from inside Serbia,
please send works or bring them personally to:
Magacin ( for nKA/ICA)
Kraljevica Marka 4
11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Any question? I mean QUESTIONS! Not Applications!!!!
Please feel free to write to us:
Amirali Ghasemi
Phone (studio): +9821 88579727
Mobile: +9821 912 122 3220
Serhat Köksal

Urban Jealousy in Belgrade (April 2009)

Application form:

First Name:
Last name:

Phone number:




Title of the work:


Size/ length:


Year of production:

Further Details (if applicable):


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