Mehraneh Atashi | Gulistan

Mehraneh Atashi (born 1980 in Tehran, lives in Tehran and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Gulistan, 2011. 8:26

“The night was spent at the garden with a friend; such pleasant setting with tree branches meeting above, as if pieces of crystal and the cluster of Pleiades were hanging from its vines. In the morning, when the thought of return exceeded the desire to stay, I saw my friend ready to leave for the city with a lapful of flowers, basil, and hyacinth. I said, “As you know, flowers do not last and unfulfilled are the promises of the garden. Men of wisdom advise against attachment to that which is ephemeral.” “So, what is to be done?” asked my friend. I replied, “For the pleasure of observers and the delight of those present, I shall compose Gulistan (“The Rose Garden”), whose pages the autumnal wind cannot rend and whose vernal bliss the passage of time cannot turn to the woes of winter.” (Saadi, 13th century)

In Gulistan video, I take a one-way trip to an ancient story, which is repeatedly interpreted in literature; in order to find out how the time machine works. In this piece, I create visual interventions in a literary space. Here I recite and repeat the opening lines of Saadi’s Gulistan, one of the monuments of Persian literature, a literary space highly appropriated by the establishment at the time.

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