gita hashemi

many worlds in one


utopias in-progress (2011)

Utopias In-Progress: Seven Brief Theses on Art, Autonomy and Revolution is a site-specific embodied writing performance, installation and single channel video. Exploring the relationship between art and politics and art and its public, this work is based on a 2007 essay with the same title which was rejected by the publication that commissioned it. I was invited to present a version of the essay at the Theoretical Forum of Decima Biennial in Havana in 2009. The essay inspired both the methodology of this work when I was invited to have a solo show in Sofia in 2011.

Selections from the essay were re-written by hand on a 15-meter-long scroll of paper over a period of 3 days on site at the gallery at the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate in Sofia, Bulgaria. The writing process was video taped using a body-mounted camera and installed along with the finished scroll in Gulliver Hall. Visitors were invited to write or draw on the paper and to tear pieces to take home. At the end of the exhibition, the scroll was cut into pieces and given to interested individuals including the workers at the Red House with the stipulation that they could share the piece with others in the same spirit without financially profiting from it. A large piece of it is still on display at a youth hostel nearby.

In 2019, the remaining pieces of the scroll were used as the basis for the mailart component of the project Here, Now: Dispatch from Utopia.

This work may be recreated as a site-specific and participatory project.


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