Stone Direction

Performance

04 Jan 2019 - 11 Jan 2019

Statement

The main streets are the location of our project. As we commute into these streets, various things pass in front of our eyes and naturally draw our attention. Right and left, rear and front, up and down are directions in which our body positions itself. Through all these commutes, the downwards position - or what is beneath our feet -  is probably the most observed direction. 
Throughout our journey in the city, we observe the pavement - what lies beneath our feet. Words are written right there, beneath our steps. It may take a few minutes or a few days to understand the words carved on the stone planks. They might be read or not; observed or not, though the words are there, inscribed firmly on the stones. 
In a great number of cities in Iran, municipalities are constantly working on their street pavement, and municipality contractors are constantly carrying out pavement updates and repairs. Commuting throughout the city, we specified particular area on the pavements in which we laid 30 stones 40x20 in dimension. We might drop them in their spot. 
Sentences are carved on these stone planks. Solitude and anxiety are felt in these words. We assume that the people walking on and along the pavements are engaged with solitude and anxiety. This project is a continuation of our street project. Earlier projects have been carried out by means of colourful stickers, a kind of de-familiarization from the advertising stickers which are glued by doorbells. The current project makes use of stone, a harder and tougher material. The themes resonate existential concepts such as anxiety, fear, death and devastation. We believe that such themes are known to pedestrians. For us, the “street” is neither a meaningless object nor merely a means, but a kind of site; it is a part of our work. The street is a fluid realm in which we put our words as ideas. We have no idea who will see such writings; it is unpredictable. We are neither TV channels, who work with public audience, nor celebrities, who act to achieve dramatic identity. We are just citizens who find refuge in city with art.

Foad Sharifi, with a broken leg
Tehran, 13 November 2018

Location: Vali’asr Junction towards Vali’asr Square

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