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The Registry Office of Iranians

Curated by: Zohreh Deldadeh

Photography solo exhibition

04 Jan 2019 - 11 Jan 2019

Statement

Throughout the history of art, many ‘discovered or found objects’ have been exhibited in different ways. When displayed in galleries and museums, such objects receive an artistic status. 
Within this context, if the same object turned into work of art was taken out of its gallery or museum and returned to the streets, would the audiences’ encounter alter?  Would the reading processes differ due to the change of the audiences? On a cold winter day in 2005, Najaf Shoki found more than one thousand old Iranian certificates in a garbage dump on Vahdat-e Islami street, near the Central Registration Office of Tehran Province. The records, which had evidently been chucked away by the Office, were the birth certificates of men and women mostly born in the 1940s. The website of The National Organization for Civil Registration reads: “The preservation and protection of records and documents in Iran isn’t a recent phenomenon. Excavated works from the archives of the ancient Iranian cities of Babylonia, Ecbatana and Susa show that Iranians have for centuries kept documents and identity records. Identity documents represent a country’s culture and collective identity. They are one of the transmitting vehicles in passing such collective identities to future generations.”‘Iran-Dokht’ and ‘The Registering Congregation of Iranian Men’ came out of the retrieval and then presentation of Shokri’s discovered collections of the birth certificates. So far, they have been exhibited in numerous exhibitions outside the country. After thirteen years, these two collections are being exhibited in Tehran. During Teer art week, the works will be displayed on walls near Tehran’s Registration Offices for public viewing.The fact that the display of the images might be subjected to the restrictive rules governing public spaces in the city, a very short-term display of the works may act as a solution to turn the city’s walls into a temporary medium.   
 

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