The Unwritten History of Winter Long Shadows

  • The Unwritten History of Winter Long Shadows
  • A Performance-art
  • By Ali Ettehad
  • with 366 Performing Art Group
  • Dec. 2019
  • E1 Gallery, Tehran, Iran

This performance is about history; About the history of the people, which is often not discussed. A group of performers in uniforms are sitting farthest from the audience, facing the wall and close to each other. Near the audience, a frame hangs from the ceiling. Between the performers and the frame are a number of small bottles, several pieces of paper and pencil on the floor. Each performer turns to the audience after detaching from the wall. He/she then crawls on the ground to reach for the paper and pencil. After grabbing the paper and pencil, the performer begins to write something that the audience does not see. When the executor writes the text, he/she puts it in a small bottle and closes the bottle. The performer picks up the bottle and walks towards the frame. The performer places the bottle somewhere, on the floor and beyond the frame, and then stands behind the frame and creates a portrait.
If an audience stands behind the frame before the performer arrives – for example, to take a picture behind the frame – then the performers all fall to the ground and crawl towards the wall, and the performance begins from the beginning.

But if the performer frames himself without any obstacles and creates a portrait; Then he/she can stay there as long as he/she wants. It then passes through the frame and lies on the ground somewhere beyond the frame, closing its eyes and remaining motionless. And now it is the turn of the performers to follow the same path.
This performance is about the timeline of each of our lives. We all end up trying to leave that symbolic image behind. However, with this effort, we cut each other’s way to achieve our desired image at any moment.

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