A Study on the Relationship between Language and Art in Conceptual Art of Iran (1965-2003)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Associate Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Iran.

2 M.A. Student in Art Research, University of Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Parallel with the confrontation of the East and the West in the fields of worldview and philosophy, the comprehension of contemporary artistic approaches and movements also has its own complexities. Among these, conceptual art is one of the most controversial issues in the art world due to its characteristics and its view of aesthetics, media, audience, and institutions. This subject by its very nature is directly related to the language. The question that arises is what is the connection between language and art in Iranian conceptual art?
Research objective: The aim of the present study is to gain a deeper understanding of conceptual art in Iran so that the weaknesses and strengths of the relationship between art and language in this movement can be better explored and, if possible, solutions for the future can be considered.
Research method: In this study, the first step was to examine conceptual art by delving into the background of the study and its related spectrum. In the second step, the relationship between art and language, was first analyzed in general and then were scrutinized in conceptual art by referring to the opinions of artists, current trends, and works, and to extract its components and principles. In the third step, the Iranian conceptual art and the relationship between art and language in this fledgling art movement were studied and the works were analyzed based on the mentioned components and principles. In this study, the main purpose was to analyze the relationship between art and language in conceptual art, and show the weaknesses and strengths of the process of understanding and absorbing conceptual art in Iran.
Conclusion:By studying the relationship between language and art in Iranian conceptual art, the results can be summarized in two dimensions. First, the three components of the formation of conceptual art in the West are very different from the context of its development and absorption in Iran. Second, this difference has created a weak link between language and art in Iranian conceptual art, which is contrary to the two principles derived from Western conceptual art. It seems that these two dimensions should be considered next to the strength of this movement, namely being related to tangible issues.


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