Simin Keramati | Tehran 2011

Simin Keramati, Tehran 2011, 2011, 0:51 & Tehran 2010, 2010, 2:56

It is curious how butterflies attract attention in most precarious conditions—their beauty, their carelessness towards brevity of life never fail to catch our eye (and be caught by avid collectors—such as writers André Gide and Vladimir Nabokov, well-known to have their eyes on creatures of nature and humanity alike). Butterflies that were common in Tehran are seldom seen fluttering in the city today. The artist uses metaphor to speak about loss of carelessness in public, and personal loss of freedom, in her short video, Tehran 2011, of a butterfly crawling upon a flower, helplessly flapping its wings. The black-and-white image is disintegrating into visual detritus of a certain beauty, as electronic crackling noise conjures up a media soundscape for this nearly extinct creature to live in. In Tehran 2010, we see a female figure exercising in the gated garden space—she flutters up and down, her robe giving her rather ominous wings, her skipping rope lashing the floor. In the third video of this trilogy, Insomnia (2010), the world outside can only be heard; its image abstracted into an undulating movement of a bedroom curtain, as the mind is trapped in the grey zone between waking and sleep.

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