An Exhibition by Shahrzad Changalvaee and Constanza Alarcón Tennen
April 1 - May 15th, 2016
Opening | April 1 2016 | 7 to 10 PM
MEYOHAS | 181 East 90th St #28B, NYC
Utopia is the no-place where future remnants of a missing world can finally liberate the present from an overloaded history. Wounds are then allowed to turn into scars, scars into hope. The no-place of utopia is a place somewhere in between, where distant voices meet and fertilize. One wipes the tears of the other, while the other inspires the heart of the one. Victor Jara and Ahmad Shamloo probably never met. Shamloo, the Iranian poet came into Jara, the Chilean singer by grace. Something in Chile’s recent history resounded in the Iranian one, and lead the Iranian poet to translate some of the songs of the Chilean singer, which years later, connected us together.
The brutality of History hits in different ways the direct victims and those who, likes us two in Chile and in Iran, grew up as a following generation and lived the long-term consequences. Memory breathes heavily next to your ears, as an amorphous and heavy stepping monster, when culture and society do not face it, nor deal with its underlying presence.
Histories do not mirror each other but analogies recall one another. In 1953, a coup supported by the CIA took place in Iran right after the nationalization of oil. In 1973, a coup in Chile violently divided the nation in two, ending a process of social empowerment that included the nationalization of copper, and replaced it with a military dictatorship that installed torture, terror, and killing as pervasive practices. Victor Jara was killed in the aftermath of the Chilean coup. Ahmad Shamloo was isolated by the ideological regime after the Islamic revolution of Iran in 1979, which is considered a consequence of the 1953 coup.
We want to believe that parallel stories reverberate and we can make something out them, no matter how modest it may be. What has been recorded is barely enough to get a glimpse of the complexities of the places and people whose voices were silenced by violence.
In performing here we attempt to open a lyrical space where our separated geographies converge into a collective memory, both social and political; and where difference surrenders to what may be common: our hopes, sorrows, pains, songs and bodies.