A performance art piece by Ali Ettehad
Cultuurcentrum Brugge
Bruges, Belgium
Oct. 2010
Curator: Amirali Ghasemi
Part of a project “Iran & Co”
Curatorial team: Amirali Ghasemi, Michel Dewilde, Azar Mahmoudian

This performance specifically addresses the issue of historical oblivion and its relation to censorship. The performer enters a dilapidated building with a loud robe. His face is hidden and only his lips are visible. Executor comes with bundles of wrapped paper. It sits somewhere on the second floor. The wind comes from the window. The performer opens the wrapped papers and places a piece of rock on the papers to prevent the paper from scattering.

The papers are all blank. Now the performer starts reading from the blank papers so that it is not heard properly. After reading each piece of invisible text, he takes the paper to his mouth and swallows it.

This action continues until the last piece of paper. Read what he reads below:

Each one of my odes
each verse of our psalms;
melts into the air; Turns into steam
Become clouds
The clouds which would never rain; ever
word for word of my sonnets
letter for letter of our odes
melt away; mixing together
The wind will blow all your words away
then you have to swallow the unwritten sheets of your sonnets
to swallow your sonnets
the sonnets you were never allowed to write
And what you have written
behold;  is blowing away with the wind
the wind will blow it all away even if you truss your sheets with a stone
You have to swallow the white sheets of your sonnets
you are convicted to swallow all the blank papers
all the papers of the sonnets you were never allowed to write
Years have passed
and Years are to come
Word for word of your odes
will be blown away by the wind
not to the place that one day Perhaps one day You can find them
The rhymes will be fading away
one by one
Either the ones you have gold written
or those you have graved on stones
the wind will blow all your letters away

And you have to swallow all the unwritten sheets of your sonnets
to Swallow them
Sheet for sheet
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