The Glass Box was a series that was displayed in the public space of Tehran for a year (2018 – 2019). This project was implemented in collaboration with Fereshteh Gallery of Tehran. Each piece of this collection dealt with a part of Persian literature. The first part began with “One Thousand and One Nights” and the next parts were dedicated to one of the contemporary Iranian poets.
The fourth installation was designed based on a poem by Nima Yooshij. Nima is the founder of modern Persian poetry. Elements of Nima’s poetry are represented in this installation. Paper boats have replaced Nima’s metaphorical boat here. The ground is covered with sand. To the right of the installation are small glass bottles. Parts of Nima‘s poem are handwritten on small scrolls and placed inside bottles.The bottles are filled with water and the lid is closed with a cork. During the four months that this installation took place; These writings were slowly dissolved in water.
At the same time, a piece of audio was playing through the speakers facing the street; Nima‘s poem could be heard in this piece. This narrative was based on music that was a combination of modern music and music from the northern regions of Iran (Nima’s birthplace).
My face is withered / my boat is stranded/with my stranded bark I cry / my voice is broken in my throat/and if voice is voluble / I cry/for your salvation and mine / I cry!
Nima Yushij (Iran, 1897-1960)
At the opening of the exhibition, 300 paper boats were set up on the sidewalk, which were slowly taken over by children for four hours. Ali Ettehad then taught the passing children how to make a paper boat, and then invited them to go inside a glass box and put their boat inside the installation.
Fliers design by Ashkan Galedari (AG Studio)