“I want you to panic. I want you to act as if your house was on fire.”
– Greta Thunberg
Iranian artists Icy and Sot (Saman Oskouei, born in 1985 and Sasan Oskouei born in 1991) recently took off on another self-initiated mission, inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg’s work and the worldwide environmental movement she has started.
Using the vast Californian desert landscape as a dramatic backdrop for their work and activist’s impactful speech as an alarming wake-up call, Saman and Sasan Oskouei created a riveting video titled “Our House is on Fire” that opens their new exhibition in Danysz Paris. The exhibition includes a set of video with an installation, as well as their more recent works ranging from sculpture to paintings all centered around the artists’ engagement for a more conscious world.
As writer Sasha Bogojev puts it, “In some way turning Greta’s inspiring words into poetic reality, Icy and Sot built a frame of an archetypal home and set it on fire. Allowing for the untouched surrounding nature to be seen between the blazing framework of the house, the artists suggest looking at the wider picture in which the Earth is our only home. The video shows the reversed footage of their installation being swallowed by flames and crumbling to the ground, creating an illusion of burning pieces of wood rising up and forming the familiar structure. With Greta’s voice in the background calling upon civil disobedience and rebellion, the video has a compelling incentive undertone reminding us that the change is possible if we put pressure on those in power”.
Saman Oskouei (born 1985) and Sasan Oskouei (born 1991) know as ICY and SOT are artists from Tabriz, Iran, currently residing in Brooklyn, New York, the two brothers started making their marks in the streets of Iran in 2006. As they became artists of international renown, they have exhibited their work among other places at Amsterdam’s MOCO, the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art in Munich, at the Saatchi Gallery in London, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Calais, France, etc…
Icy and Sot always look for the appropriate medium to give their ideas the greatest resonance. Through their unique visual language, they have been delivering powerful, moving statements on the present-day human condition, tackling important issues such as human rights, detention, women’s rights, the plights of migrants and refugees, climate change, or the pitfalls of capitalism. Their commitment is reflected in the materials that their artworks are made of: barbed wire, iron wire, old rusty shovels or oil cans. All raw materials that the artists divert and transfigure to give life to pieces of art that are full of poetry and fragility. However Icy and Sot do not mean to lecture anyone. They are content with reflecting the truth of our times through their own language. And turn it into a work of art.