gita hashemi

many worlds in one


ephemeral monument (2008, 2013)

Ephemeral Monument is a site-specific embodied writing performance and video installation that draws on the literature of resistance in Iran between the 1953 coup d'etat and the 1979 Revolution. The performance takes place over a number of days in successive layers of writing, erasing and re-writing in chalk directly on gallery wall or on installed board. The final layer of writing includes names of political prisoners who were executed in Iran. The names are collected through interaction with diasporic Iranians. The performance is recorded on video and the recording is subsequently installed as a single channel projection.

This work was created in 2008 through a residency in San Francisco hosted by artist and curator Taraneh Hemami in response to the archives of the library of the Iranian Students Association of Northern California, active from 1964-1984. It was subsequently exhibited as part of the exhibition Theory of Survival curated by Hemami at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and at The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate in Sofia as part of The Political is Personal in 2011. It was recreated with a new script at A Space Gallery in Toronto as part of the exhibition Time Lapsed, and at MAI in Montreal as part of The Idea of Freedom, both in 2013, and at The Centre for Book Arts in New York as part of Shehrezad's Daughters curated by Jaishri Abichandani in 2016.

Ephemeral Monument may be re-created as a site-specific performance and installation in variable dimensions, or exhibited as single- or multi-channel video projection or screening of the 2013 performance.


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