Dariush M. Doust
Roberto NigroGerald Raunig
— What determines our place in history? If it is the past, there we also find the material support
with which we reconstitute our historical place.
Our relation to history remains retrospective, but
— Events begin with a break from history. But they soon are recaptured by it and fetishized as historical triumphs or failures. Still something remains of past events that, although conditioned by history, is irreducible to it: a surplus that finds way to our time, something out of time that forces us to actively anticipate a renewing in past events.
— To anticipate a different turn of events in an already historicized past is to retroactively assume its fate as still undecidable. This opens an irreconcilable temporal gap in the continuity of the present, an extra-historical space in which history can be reenacted between unverifiable fact and assertive fiction.
— Such a-historical enactment retraces the past as an indeterminate sequence in order not only to reconstitute a different past but also to recondition the present. This is not purely recalling a certain past event to criticize the present (which if it was, it would as well reconfirm its fate as equally unalterable).
Painting (Excerpt from Khoroos Jangi, first period, issue #4, 1949-50.)
Imaginary future and the archive
My Speaking Picture Frame (Excerpt from “Khoroos Jangi, first period, issue #2, 1949–1950)
Hope Against Hope
Desert (Poem published in Khoroos Jangi, second period, issue #3, 1951.)
Perormance in Iran : Come and Caress Me
Perormance in Iran : Long Live Socrates
Perormance in Iran: Employment
Performance in Iran: DADA Matinée
Painting (Excerpt from, Khoroos Jangi, first period, issue #2, 1949-50.)
Molecular Revolution and Event
Marion von Osten &
There is no such thing as a perfect substitute in translation. There are instead, displacements and interpretations, which remain nevertheless within the limits of the text. But beyond this, translations can, in their more radical instance, release a surplus. This surplus of translation is neither solely of the original nor of the context of its destination, and not even of their differences. It is brought about by the excess in translation itself – through over-interpretation – in order to supplement what is left out from the text(s). The surplus has a life of its own beyond the binarism of translation. It is a bypass, a detour, for saying the things that cannot be said otherwise. The surplus is the braking of translation into excerpts, extending it to unsought relations. These passages diverging from translation may come to occasion the voicing of things other than that which the initial translation sought to speak of; they may come to engender desires, contradictions and struggles that make up the social to re-enter language.
One Question and Four Replies
Violent Distortions: The Return of the Translator-Interpreter
Excess of Translation in Iranian Situation
One Question and Four Replies
One Question and Four Replies
Politics of Opening: Translation as Authorship
Art and Architecture
During our research for this issue we came across an ambiguous clipping from the art section of an Iranian newspaper from 1977. The headline reads: “Artistic Fantasy! / Shah-Reza Avenue is Art...! / On the conditions of an exhibition with a tour through it.” The text, supposedly an exhibition review, is an imaginary account of a walk up and down Shah-Reza Avenue with various art and artistically associated encounters. Next to the text is the poster of the exhibition announcing Koorosh Shishegaran’s* [art] works [as] the Shah-Reza Avenue. itself. In smaller fonts the Avenue is assigned with all artistic media from painting to theatre, to architecture and music etc. In this way the exhibition constituted the everyday life and affairs of Shah-Reza Avenue, all claimed by the artist as his readymade artwork; a purely conceptual piece consisting of a single poster hung along the length of Shah-Reza Avenue for a certain period.
What is striking about this newspaper clipping is the editorial note preceding the review, a sardonicism quite difficult to pinpoint:
While our writers from the art section were trying to make sense of the poster ‘Kourosh Shishegaran’s works: Shah-Reza Avenue itself’, we received a letter from Shishegaran that coincided with the imaginary writing that one of our colleagues had prepared about this “exhibition”. We print here both the letter and the writing – which is quite befitting in the upcoming New Year’s holidays.
What exactly do the editors mean by “…befitting in the upcoming New Year’s holidays”? Is it because during holidays readers will have more time to visit the exhibition – when most people have left the city and the activities on Avenues like Shah-Reza are at their minimum? In this case these holidays are not the best time for visiting the exhibition. Or is it that the holidays are in fact the best times to (re-) interpret – imaginarily – Shah-Reza Avenue? Shishegaran’s letter to the editors of the newspaper clearly indicates that the work (the poster) was suffering a general misunderstanding; some had gone down Shah-Reza Avenue actually looking for his exhibited work. Shishegaran’s request from the editors is to clarify the issue. However, they decide to print his letter next to the imaginary review of Shah-Reza Avenue. But the review itself is the peak of this misunderstanding. The narrator’s voice, presumably reporting on his visit to the exhibition has an ironic tone to it, accompanied with a cynicism that writes off Shishegaran’s work as absurd and misplaced.
This issue of Pages is in general about space and practice, spaces of events and productions, of disclosures and enclosures. Some of the questions that went through our minds, which may remain unanswered but undoubtedly are unfolded in this issue of Pages were:
What is an art space when art and its practice – in circumstances like those of Iran – is continuously overwhelmed by discontinuity, spatial closure and by its own historical rift? Can an art space constitute interludes of presence and practice? Are these interludes, discontinuous as they may be, capable of introducing a rift into the spatial closure? When does a space become a discursive space? To what extent did – and does – modernity provide the paradigm for the production of space for art?
In looking into the issues raised in these questions we could not escape the echoing of the historical dilemmas that have haunted cultural production in Iran, and continue to affect contemporary practitioners. What follows are on the one hand re-prints of past magazines and newspaper clippings that reflect conflicts of architecture design, predicaments of the social engagement of art, ideological convictions and displacements in art, and the discontinuities in modernist paradigms and their practices. These reprints coincide with a series of dialogues that we have conducted with practitioners in art and culture, architecture and urban planning. What these dialogues have in common is the contemporaneity of their discussions with a historical postponement of a certain modernity. Yet the practices and experiences that are talked about in these dialogues are all affected with the possibility of an eventual gain.
As with past issues, this is a continuation of Pages’ previous concerns and an unfolding of an ongoing discussion that will be further developed in upcoming editions and projects.
The Font Crisis
The city and social presentation of art:A glance at Ghandriz Gallery experience
The capacity and the Expanse 2
The Wall Project
Urban Spaces of Event
The Issue:Iranian vs.Western Design
Apadana gallery and the course of a newspaper
The Unitary message of the artists. A Short excursion at the Exhibitions Held on the Occasion of Dahe-ye Fajr
Alireza Rasoulinezhad & Shadmehr Rastin
Igor Dobricic, Ana Dzokic and Marc
Neelen, Wietske Maas
Mohammadreza Haeri, Majeed
Eslami, Saed Meshky
Cultural Ruptures and Promises of Architectural Education in Iran
The Baron’ s Palace
Traffic and the Ghost of Law
Self- Colonisation (Dan Perjovschi and His Critique of the Post- Communist Restructuring of Identity)
Masserat Amir Ebrahimi
Pages 4 addresses voice in some of its circumstances: in public spaces when it takes on an artificial sounding, leading you through the city – or in far away phone centres, where it is manufactured into other identities than that of its owner – or reproduced into the voice of a different self as in cyberspace – or in cinematic dubbing when it becomes an act of duplicity – or as in rumours when it moves from mouth to mouth, compensating the lacking flow of information…
Emergence of the Iranian cyberspace and the production of the “Self” in Weblogestan
Guided by Voices
From Mouth to Mouth
Unwanted urban conversation
Nasrin Tabatabai &
Bik van der pol
In July 2004 we began the search in Tehran for
a location in order to set up an independent international art space. It appears to us that inevitably some important characteristics of any potential location need to be carefully considered. As in any other city, various locations in Tehran carry out not only specific urban functions, they also possess a socio-political significance. Producing an independent art space would in one way or another force us to internalize issues relating to these paradigms from the very start. It would be futile to try to disavow the socio-political and urban significances of these locations however
independent we like the space to be. Clearly the
notion of a desirable art space remains relative.
This first step in the project “In search of a location for an international / independent art space in Tehran” is focusing on the various attributes and significations of locations that may or may not offer possibilities for the setting up of an art space. By launching the idea of an art space through various urban, political and social traits of each of its possible locations, a series of spatial positions are introduced that already provide a space or the means for generating art projects.
The first production out of this search is a “décorobject”, which is an extract from the first location. The original object, being a wooden built-in shelving unit with an extension frame forming a passage from the hallway to the living room, has a significant role within the interior mise-en-scène of this location.* Separating this object from its original mise-en-scène, by way of reproducing it as an autonomous object, is an attempt in diverting, however partially, the desire for an art space towards production.
The “décor-object”, an approximate reproduction of the original shelving unit, has a height of 290 centimetres, is 78 centimetres wide, and with its extension frame carries a length of 350 centimetres. It includes four shelves each being 58 by 20 centimetre with a distance of 50 centimetres in between. The material used for this reproduction is 3-centimetre thick plywood. The object is later
coated with chestnut brown finish.
The reproduced “décor-object” is a condensation
of the idea of location and display at once, a trade mark for a possible independent art space.
The project “In search of a location for an international / independent art Space in Tehran” will continue to develop further and will be an on going part of the activities of pages.
* Built in the early 70’s together with the house, it is a reduced version of a once popular design that originally functioned both as spatial division and decoration. This pseudomodernist architectural element, famous as the “decor” was first introduced in the early 50’s and is still to be found in houses from that era.
In Search of a Location for an International/Independent Art Space in Tehran
Stecca Degli Artigiani
Location 1 ( In Search of a Location for an International/ Independent Art Space in Tehran )
Pierre Abi Saab
Vesta Nele Zareh
Gelayol Mosaed & Mohammad Hassan Malekpour
What makes a place different is first of all it’s setting
or its mise-en-scène ,that is, the orientations it implies and the subjectivities it entails. Often however, a place thought of in these terms, is translated into a location from where stories are transmitted, or transposed into a localewith a recating of its inhabitants’ roles into re-enactments of the play of the space they inhabit. Transpositions ca develope into strategies of applying changes to places. These changes do not necessarily have to be physical to be real.
The idea of moving Iran’s capital has been under discussion since 1989, due to Tehran’s heavy pollution and overcrowding, but most of all due to the risk of an earthquake. Tehran lies on a major seismological fault and experts
have long warned that a strong earthquake in the city would be devastating. Numerous faults crisscross the city. The hazard of the city is
known, but to predict the time of the earthquake remains, as always, impossible. It is believed that it takes 20 to 30 years to gradually move the
population out of the capital.
The withdrawal of the governing force from Tehran as the first (and possibly the last) steps in moving the capital would not only undermine the city’s geopolitical role on the national and international level, but even the social, economicaland urban structure of the city will be destabilized. But more than anything this idea of moving the capital carries with itself, as a safety measure, the notion of abandonment, an escape from the predicted disaster that may one day take us for surprise.
The citizens of Tehran are faced with a double-edged anticipation: the predicted catastrophe and its proposed preventive measure, the moving of the capital. They both lack any political, economical and scientific backing for the time and nature of their occurrence. This has developed the abstract notion of predictions (that of the quake), and the fantasy of prevention (in terms of the moving of the capital) into an ever-returning dialectics that is evoked whenever reality comes too close.
The anticipation of the moving of the city of Tehran is maybe closer to reality than the catastrophe that is being predicted for more than 20 years. But this is nothing new. Any preventive measure for a predicted catastrophe is meant to take place way before it is too late. The occupation of Iraq by the allies was also a preventive measure to “safeguard the world” from a predicted nuclear catastrophe. What happened was in the end the opposite: the prevention became the actual catastrophe; the anxiety of a catastrophe is often taken as a pretext for the safeguarding and the reestablishment of positions and ideologies.
Diagram & Rhizome
Nothing will ever happen here, Nothing has ever Happened
The Strait or a Life Full of Holes
The case of two American Embassies
An Eclipse, which dropped from the sky
Atoosa Afshin Navid
In search of Ideal public space