Nonspheres IV - analog video, Kabul / Berlin, 2006-7
This is the video component of the installation titled by the same name Nonspheres IV as a solo exhibition at Program Berlin, curated by Carson Chan in 2007. The final video work was juxtaposition of two related video works previously exhibited at the Encounters group exhibition curated by Femke Lutgerink, Staadgallerij Heerlen, NL, 2007.
'Verde que te quiero Verde' (title is excerpt from the poem 'Romance Sonámbulo' by García Lorca, analog video, duration: 3' 58", Kabul, Afghanistan 2006) was an urban intervention in the war-torn urban environment of Kabul. Instead of being its initial conception, a seminar in public art for Afghan art student-members of the Center for Contemporary Art of Afghanistan, it became a workshop for conveying the transformative possibilities of performance and installation art. Atop Bibi Mahro, a hill right off the center of Kabul, there is a lone, abandoned Soviet-built pool and billboard, then used for propaganda. Afer being a strategic site for urban warfare during the anti-Soviet war, folk stories tell that this pool became the site for clandestine executions during the Taliban period. We felt this was a good site to put the city to rest, by placing a green flag as it is custom, at burial sites, as a symbol of rebirth. The project was commissioned by Professor Rahraw Omarzad, director of the CCAA, and by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture of MIT. The piece was largely documented in this video by the artist, and photographed by Massoud Hosseini.
'Teufelsburg' (analog video, duration: 2'49", Berlin, Germany 2006) is a parallel, like an entry in the Talmud, to the experience in Kabul. the video was produced during the summer and winter of 2006. It was filmed at Teufelsberg in western Berlin at the abandoned NATO Secret Communications Survey Station. Teufelsberg (or Devil's hill) is literally a mountain built out of the ruins of WW2 bombings. Being in Berlin, the edge between the once opposing superpowers, now a critical mass of contemporary life, reminds the blowbacks of the Cold War. It reminds the ensuing selective amnesia over actions during the 70's and 80's that facilitate a cozy erasure of events that otherwise would easily explain the seemingly 'unexplainable' political environment of today. The forgotten yet beautiful human figures, domes and weeds speak of nature as it reasserts itself, as reminders of misappropriated ideas distorted into brutal, futile projects of control and ideology.