No Man's Land: Talk, Silent Disco and Exhibition by Darvish Fakhr

Those who danced were thought insane by those who could not hear the music.”  - Nietzsche

On the 19th of April at London's Asia House, Iranian-American artist Darvish Fakhr will inaugurate his latest exhibition, No Man’s Land, with a talk by acclaimed British dancer and choreographer Akram Khan MBE and a silent disco event in celebration of artistic freedom, movement and space.

Movement is a key part of creative practice for Fakhr, who refers to his studio as his cosmic gym, an aphorism reflective of his process, which involves working with his body as well as paint.Through predominantly oil paintings and charcoal drawings, the exhibition is inspired by Iranian protest installation The Stone Garden and examines ideas about space, boundaries and the tension caused by power imbalance.

No Man’s Land references the remarkable story of the deaf-mute Iranian farmer Darvish Esfandiarpour and his silent rebellion against the land reforms of the 1960s. When his land was confiscated during the White Revolution of the Shah of Iran’s regime in 1963, he enacted a unique form of resistance. Over almost have a century, he assembled heavy stones on dead trees, giving birth to the Stone Garden - a site of both devastation and rebirth where he performed ceremonial dances as part of his unique emotional response.

The Stone Garden has captured the artistic imaginary of many. Documentary maker Parviz Kimiavi has made two films about Darvish Esfandiarpour,The Stone Garden in 1976 and The Old Man and his Garden of Stones in 2004. Fakhr visited the Stone Garden in 2016.

Fakhr says“The story of Darvish Esfandiarpour is one that has resonated with me since I first came across it.After visiting the Stone Garden myself in 2016, I was compelled to bring his story to a wider audience. His peaceful reaction to an aggressive act is one I think we can all learn from.The landscape of the region also speaks to me hauntingly of spirituality, Iran and a shared heritage.”

During the silent disco, the audience will be encouraged to move freely. Like Esfandiarpour, who was deaf and mute, they will be given a space to experiment with the motion of the body in space.

Darvish Fakhr is an award-winning contemporary artist who has specialised in figurative realism. He studied at the Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston, where he attained his BFA in 1994, and Slade School of Fine Art, London, where he got his MFA in 1997. He has exhibited in America and the UK. Fakhr was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 2008 to paint Akram Khan for the gallery’s permanent collection. Settled in the UK for over two decades, Fakhr lives and works in Brighton.

Darvish Fakhr, No Man’s Land, Thursday 19 April - Friday 27 April 2018
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
Silent disco and talk with Akram Khan MBE and Darvish Fakhr, Thursday 19 April, 6pm - 10pm (Talk 6.45pm - 7.30pm, followed by silent disco until 10pm)
Tickets - £12 general, £10 concessions and £6 Asia House members book tickets at
Press: to attend please RSVP to
Exhibition is free to attend, daily 10am – 6pm

Press please contact Abigail Stuart-Menteth, Damson PR, 0207 812 0645 or

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