John Hurrell – 18 December, 2012
Asdollah-Zadeh's other contribution is Michael Jackson Motorcade, 2012, a composite video of news film taken in 2009 from American television, showing the motorcade of Michael Jackson's funeral. At the same time in Iran, the Green Movement was in full swing, a precursor to last year's Arab Spring, so Asdollah-Zadeh, exasperated by American fixation on celebrity culture, and the ignoring of more important historical global events, has made an oblique sap in the face for American ignorance and Bush-era xenophobia.
Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh, Alex Monteith
The Globalising Wall
Curated by James Pinker
24 November 2012 - 7 February 2013
In these other works, included by James Pinker (Director of the Mangere Arts Centre) in his curated show The Globalising Wall, there is a slightly different emphasis from the Stratou work which deals with walls as physical objects. Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh and Alex Monteith don’t dwell on the materiality of such robust separating devices. Instead they seem more interested in a metaphorical dimension.
Iranian artist, Asdollah-Zadeh, has two works. One, Persepolis, 2012, shown previously in a vitrine in front of Snake Pit, has a L.E.D. sign promoting kebabs, positioned next to a Turkestan carpet. In Mangere the Turkmen Ersari rug is draped over a wall (but with its other half hidden ). Next to the twinkling sign it raises questions about Western (or New Zealand) perceptions of Middle Eastern culture. Providers of fast food or creators of intricate textile design, sophisticated intellectuals interested in philosophy and mathematics. The title refers the great Persian city of the Achaemenid Empire which was plundered by Alexander the Great in 330 BC.
Asdollah-Zadeh’s other contribution is Michael Jackson Motorcade, 2012, a composite video of news film taken in 2009 from American television, showing the motorcade of Michael Jackson’s funeral. At the same time in Iran, the Green Movement was in full swing, a precursor to last year’s Arab Spring, so Asdollah-Zadeh, exasperated by American fixation on celebrity culture, and the ignoring of more important historical global events, has made an oblique slap in the face for American ignorance and Bush-era xenophobia.
Alex Monteith’s 16mmfilm recorded on the Melmount Road, Strabane, Co.Tyrone,11th July 2001 with fast forward and slow motion speed changes authored to VHS by the Royal Ulster Constabulary for the purposes of prosecution, 2011, shows a group of about fifteen youths in a park throwing rocks and bottles at police vehicles.
During the filming a plain clothed policewoman was injured when the rear window of a sedan she was in was smashed, and so the police took Monteith’s 16 mm film to assist their efforts to try and identify the perpetrators. They processed it and transferred it to VHS. Through various Castlederg politicians Monteith eventually got the film (now part of her much larger Chapter and Verse) returned. For The Globalising Wall she slows it down and repeats sections, as if looking for clues.
In Monteith’s film we don’t see physical barriers, only actions that result from the impediments of age, economics, class, religion and historical context, ‘walls’ that whilst unseen, are still enormously palpable in their social consequences.
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