18th Art Division New Face Award
A Tale of Tehrangeles
Anahita RAZMI [Germany]
The installation A Tale of Tehrangeles takes the beginning of Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities as the basis for a visual collage of the cities Tehran and Los Angeles. “Tehrangeles” is a common, informal moniker used when referring to the large number of Iranian immigrants residing in the Los Angeles area, the country’s largest diaspora outside of Iran. A Tale of Tehrangeles relates to this denominative connection through a performative comparison. It combines a two-screen collage of the two cities with a single screen “commentary”, which shows the artist reading out the beginning of Charles Dickens’ novel. In combination with the shown images of “Tehrangeles”, spatial connections/disconnections/negations emerge, questioning the existence of an actual intermediary space that tells territorially and historically blurred “Tales of the City/Two Cities”.
Reason for Award
There have already been a number of works by Iranian-German creators whose work highlights the cultural and social differences between the United States and Iran amidst prolonged tense relations. Quite to the contrary in this work, by means of presenting the commonalities of people living in cities in global societies where a fusion of multiethnic and multicultural communities occurs, it depicts and questions the absurdity of the contemporary age. The words from a Charles Dickens’ novel based on the theme of two cities read by the artist herself as a newscaster in a green room also seem to allude to a premonition of the future of the two poles of human life and the world. A work with exceptional structure and a high level of completion founded on a clear concept, there are high expectations for the future of its creator. (OKABE Aomi)