Mehraneh Atashi | Gulistan

Mehraneh AtashiGulistan, 2011. Sound, 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.” These words by Saadi, the 13th century poet, have been repeatedly reinterpreted in Persian literature since, and again are recited in various current settings in the Gullistan video, until camera malfunctions and can no longer record sound, and ultimately breaks down. Technical facility makes a desire to capture the ephemeral ever more palpable.

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