A performance art piece by Ali Ettehad
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