Amitis Motevalli (b. in Iran, lives in Los Angeles), Love Letters to Jeremy/Let Them Eat Yellowcake, 2011. Stereo, 12:00
Love Letters to Jeremy/Let Them Eat Yellowcake* is a video derived from a performance, conceived in two parts to be shown simultaneously in Iran and outside Iran (the first simultaneous showing was to be in March 2011 at Aaran gallery, Tehran, and Morono Kiang gallery, Los Angeles, as part of My Superhero exhibition curated by Nazila Noebashari; only the “outside” segment has been shown there).
In Part I, I am on the outside of a window looking in. I steam the window with my breath and write words backward onto the glass, English words such as on-the-edge and tee-ter, that indicate a position that does not fit-in or conform to a standard. As each word sequence begins to fade, I wipe it with my hand and blow onto the window to write again. With each word, I become light-headed due to the heavy breathing.
In Part II, I perform inside the café looking out. I write backward in Farsi with whipped cream onto the window in order to communicate with the outside. The words that I write play with language and have multiple meanings. After each word is written, I lick the cream off of the window. With this set of words, I maintain a certainty and awareness.
Words with specific connotations are used to engage the viewers and place them either inside or outside the window. When writing Farsi, I am inside, you are out. When writing English, I am outside, you are in. Regardless of position, context, and environment, I initiate a dialogue; in Part I, it leaves me breathless, in Part II, it nourishes me.
* Yellowcake is slang for Uranium.