The Global Contemporary. Gespräch mit Ala Ebtekar


While at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, visual artist Ala Ebtekar will explore the process of painting and photomontage, with an overlay of popular Iranian visual culture. He will explore the 1970s and contemporary Persian leisure, the dream of space flight, pageantry, celebrations, cultural heroes, and the concept of the nation as fantasy motifs. His investigation is part of Ayandeh-nameh, an edition of artist’s books and mixtapes on Persian culture, curated by the artist Binta Ayofemi.
Ayandeh-nameh is a mash-up of 1970s Iran, pop music, fictional space programs, alternative futures, and competing nostalgias that extend into mythical pasts, all found in vivid storefronts, neighborhood parades, ritual events, pageantry, and festivities. What would a future Iran look like? What would be discarded and what remade? Ayandeh-nameh is divided into thematic chapters, including the »Wrestling Ring«, »Disco«, »Space flight« and »Epics«.
Like fantasy, futuristic texts enact alternative realities, presenting entirely possible but previously untried modes of being such as time travel, technologies and new and different political or social systems (utopian and dystopian), situations and generative, hybrid platforms where organized society gives way to the new formations. Contemporary Iranian culture, whether in Los Angeles or Tehran, is being continually shaped by viewers, readers, and listeners. Ayandeh-nameh suggests a temporary world where memory, fantasy, and reality mingle. Ebtekar is renowned for his exceptional paintings, wall drawings, installations, and artist’s books, which emerge at a visual crossroads between an equally vivid past, present, and future.