“Simurgh” is an installation inspired by the story of Simurgh, the immortal mythical Iranian bird. In the book, “Conference of The Birds” by Attar, a number of birds decide to migrate to Qhaf Mountain, the highest point in the universe, where they meet and be ruled by the sovereign bird, Simurgh. They take on this difficult journey with only thirty of the birds surviving the passage. When the final survivors see their own reflection in the water, they see Simurgh and realize that together, they are Simurgh. The story plays on the word Simurgh that could also be read as a blend of the two Persian words “Si” and “Murgh”, meaning thirty birds.
What happens next? What made them the ultimate bird was the longing to search for a great purpose, now that they’ve reached their ideal highest point, if they stop progressing and developing and at some point flying are they still Simurgh? The installation is a dinner table with thirty dishes, with one bird standing in each dish, feather plucked, headless, decorated, soulless decaying flesh who is about to hit their expiration date.
About Nastaran Safaei
Iranian, b. 1984, Tehran, Iran