Theory of Survival
July 19-August 24, 2008
Bay Area Now 5, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Here I write, erase and re-write over 3 days selections from a few texts that emerged from and influenced the political, the poetic and the personal dimensions of the opposition to the Pahlavi Monarchy and the formation of emancipatory ideas, rhetoric and actions for two generations in Iran in the years leading to the 1979 Revolution. I use these material and embodied processes to construct a ritual for re-inhabiting a past that is intimately mine; an act of remembrance and homage to the collectivity that I was a part of and a narrative of forced and voluntary departures from that collectivity. Writing in chalk is a return to my first public medium as a high school student who stole rare unobserved moments to write provocative messages on chalkboards and who took to the city walls during the protests of 1978-79. This work is a trace of the impact of transversing the historical axis that connects those years to this moment. The documentation will be donated to the institutions holding the archive as comment upon its inadequacy as record of lived experience.
I invite you to use the chalk to write comments and dedications on the wall. To remember, to revisit and to reconcile.
Ephemeral Monument blog
Gita Hashemi is a transdisciplinary artist and curator who engages in a diverse range of strategies including media and object production, installation, performance, interventions and publishing. She has worked extensively in collaborative, networked and participatory contexts using different media including digital text, still and moving image, sound and code. Her work has been exhibited, collected and reviewed nationally and internationally. Among other awards and honours she has received are the 2001 Independent Projects Award at Baddeck International New Media Festival for CD-R “Of Shifting Shadows: returning to the 1979 Iranian Revolution through an exilic journey in memory and history” which was also one of the highlights of the 2001 SIGGRAPH, and the 2002 Toronto Community Foundation award for the interactive sound installation “A War Primer” (part of The Word Room collaborative installation with Post-Exile Collective). She holds an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University in Toronto.