seven journeys of initiation - Ali Ettehad - 2021


A video-art piece from “The Journey” series

The video-art “Seven Journeys of Initiation” depicts the human effort to understand the mandala and shows the boundary between the artificial reality of the mind and the world around us. In all the video-arts of “the Journey” series, the main character of the narrative, the seeker, is represented with several internal characters and her internal aspects are externalized. In this way, we do not face multiple characters in any of these videos; Rather, it is the character of the seeker who has turned into several diverse characters in the mirror room of “self”. 

A video-art by Ali Ettehad 

Berkeh Bazri
Melika Behjat 
Mehrangiz (Giz) Tahaei 
Pooya Fayazi 
Donya Shojaeddini
Shahriar Nikpeykaran

Music: Navid Afghah 
“Stillness” from the album “The Temple of wooden figures”

Camera and edit: Ali Ettehad
VFX: Anahita Art Studio 

Duration: 14′:56″

Iran – 2021


The trailer: 

Where does “I” come from? Where does “self” come from? How can these two sit face to face and meet? Perhaps it can be claimed that all spiritual methods are rooted in these three questions. Hindus, Buddhists and Tibetans depicted “the self” as a complex, colorful and closed mandala. Carl Gustav Jung sometimes used this symbol as a symbol of “self” in his works.

The mandala shows you that the human life journey takes place within the closed circle of the self, not outside. This symbol reminds us that everything we know as the manifestations of the surrounding world are only images received by our cognitive tools and reflected in the mirror of “self”. And in the end, this final image is translated by “self” and becomes our vision of reality. 

We generally perceive the world through two fundamental codes of carbon life; “Stay alive!” And “multiply!”. It can be said without exaggeration that what makes human civilization is all formed around these two central cores; All, except the philosophical attempt of human to explain the abstract matter. The hero’s journey takes place within the complex map of “Self”. Each passage of this journey throws the human mind into the pits of “survive” and “reproduce”. In this way, coming out of the complex map of “self” and watching it from above and knowing it accurately is the most complex human achievement. 

Mars rises from the horizon of the sea.

She is placed in the first nest of humanity so that staying becomes an inseparable part of our life.

Getting up and leaving to start to walk again.

Passing through the narrowest passages of “self”.

The boundaries between the reflection of reality in “self” and the reality outside of human are removed. There is no difference between reality and dream here. At this level, The level in which everything is possible.

About the music: 

The Temple of Wooden Figures is a project for Tonbak and voice, based on  the Eastern concept of the recurrent moments of the cosmos. This music could be understood as the result of the musician’s long concentration and consideration of the potentials of Tonbak as is also evident from his previous efforts, “The Sound of Fancy” and “Genesis” but with a new effect due to its recent implementation of voice. 
Also the music is accompanied with a narrative by Shahriar Mandanipour that contrary to the music deriving from the text, here it is text that flows from the music. 

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