Celebrating Artists’ Engagement with Television
The installation "A Tale of Tehrangeles" is taking the beginning of Charles Dickens novel "A Tale of Two Cities" as a basis for a visual collage of the cities Tehran and Los Angeles.
"Tehrangeles" is a portmanteau word that is informally used when referring to the large number of Iranian immigrants and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. With an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 people, it is the largest such population outside of Iran. The project "A Tale of Tehrangeles" is relating to that denominated connection with a performative comparison.
Working with a three-screen setup, it is combining a two-screen city collage with a single screen accompanying "commentary" monitor. The city images are composed of video footage from two different shooting locations: Tehran and Los Angeles.
The commentary is setup in a green-screen studio, referencing a newsroom, in which the artist as an "anchorman" is reading out the beginning of Charles Dickens novel. The sentences are randomly repeated and mixed. In combination with the shown images of "Tehrangeles", spatial connections/disconnections/negations derive, pretending the existence of an actual intermediate space/city.
In addition to the video installation, a book object is shown, collecting newspaper headlines that originally carried the words "Tehran" or "Los Angeles" within their headline. By replacing the two city names with the word "Tehrangeles", the book is furthermore telling territorially and historically blurry "Tales of the City/two Cities".
Signature: Every video is provided with an artwork certificate, sign by the artist and signed and stamped by the gallery in one hard copy.
Digital and performance artist Anahita Razmi mines her Iranian cultural heritage and appropriates iconic works of art—particularly those of feminist artists—bringing to them a new Eastern context. She is best known for Roof Piece Tehran (2011), a video installation for which Razmi recreated Trisha Brown’s seminal 1971 work Roof Piece, filming 12 dancers not on the rooftops of New York but on those of Tehran—a reference to the rooftop demonstrations during Iran’s 2009 election protests. “My works are always conceptual and political but they also have a sense of humor,” she has said. For Re/cut Piece, a re-enactment of Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece (1964), Razmi wore a black Gucci dress and invited an audience in Dubai to cut it off her body. In other works Razmi has referenced Tracey Emin’s quilted textiles and Cindy Sherman’s self-portraits.
German, b. 1981, Hamburg, Germany, based in Berlin, Germany