NEDA RAZAVIPOUR

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2009 Self Service

Performance/Installetion

2009

 

In this Happening in which the performers are the audience, the floor is covered by few Hand-made Persian carpets, beside number of pairs of scissors and blades. Visitors are allowed to cut a piece of carpet and take it with them. Then the piece is put on shopping bags on which, part of the fourth books of Plato’s Republic is printed.

 

“…

The story is, that Leontius, the son of Aglaion, coming up one day from the Piraeus, under the north wall on the outside, observed some dead bodies lying on the ground at the place of execution. He felt a desire to see them, and also a dread and abhorrence of them; for a time he struggled and covered his eyes, but at length the desire got the better of him; and forcing them open, he ran up to the dead bodies, saying, Look, ye wretches, take your fill of

the fair sight

…”

 

Plato – Republic - Book IV

 

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“Neda Razavipour has become one of the country’s leading artists, noted for her installations, videos and conceptual pieces. In her recent exhibition, Self-Service, inaugurated in fall 2009 at the Azad Gallery in Tehran, she engaged in a unique experiment, laying out ten sumptuous but really threadbare carpets on the gallery floor. Scissors and craft knieves were also placed around the space, ready to be used by anyone wishing to cut off a piece of rug to take home. In the traditional society that is Iran, two things are sacrosanct: bread and carpets. If you find a piece of bread on the ground, you pic it up and put it in a safe place so that it cannot be trampled underfoot by the ignorant. Carpets are given the same kind of respect. Everyone knoews how much care and attention goes into making them, and that those who weave them live in atrocious conditions. Also, carpets are always part of a young bride’ dowry, and cleaning them is an important part of preparations for the Persian New Year, the Noruz(at the spring equinox). The artist was of course fully aware of all this when she offered visitors the deadly instruments with which to profane these almost sacred objects, allowing them to go home with scraps of carpet.

…From all of this, I believe, we can draw some significant conclusions: for one thing, we have a desire to free ourselves of traditional bonds that tie us down, whatever the cost; and also, we desire to free rein to a frantic destructive rage… the Razavipour exhibition mirrors our times, …”

 

from revue of Lili Golestan- Art Press 2 , n17