"Long Live Long Live! Death to Death to!" hangs outside the heritage house that acted as a venue for Friendship of Nations at the 10th Sharjah Biennial. A phrase coined by Iranian artist Haleh Anvari, Long Live Long Live! Death to Death to! affirms the celebratory gesture and condemns the revenge and rhetorical justice which often undermine true popular revolutions and uprisings. Adjacent to the only Shi’ite mosque in Sharjah, Friendship of Nations acted as the cheerful younger brother to its beautifully indulgent, blue tiled elder sibling across the road. Photo: Elizabeth Rappaport
An almost mirthful generosity occupied the courtyard of the heritage house in Sharjah: from the first days of installation, local Baluchis, Afghans, and Iraqis would make daily visits, sit down, converse with us or amongst themselves, and seek shade from the scorching sun while sipping orange blossom infused tea and eating dried mulberries. Photo: Alfredo Rubio
Wheat Molla, wheat, cotton, glue, brick, 45 x 35 x 25 cm, 2011, 10th Sharjah Biennale.
The pajak, a pagan Polish tradition celebrating the yearly harvest, attests to the painstaking diligence and delicate nature of the compromise crucial to the Polish precedent of civil disobedience. The pajak, creaolized with Shi’ite and Iranian motifs and materials, much like the banners, returns the favour, as it were, from Poland to Iran.
Solidarność Pająk study 3, thread, ribbons, reed, 2011
Solidarność Pająk study 1, reed, polyester banner, embroider, 42 cm x 55 cm, 2010. “Frieze Art Fair”, London. Photo courtesy of the Third Line.
Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz (installation view), Kiosk, Gent. Photo: Yana Foque
Pająk, materials variable, dimensions variable, 2011. Photo: Yana Foque / Kiosk, Ghent
Continuous Conversations with Janek Simon at Kalin Studio, curated by Patrycja Ryłko, Prague, 2012
Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz (installation view), REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Scott Groller