Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Creative Translation

Whenever I’m in Iran, people ask me:
What do you think of Iran?

The work featured on this blog, here and in the next four posts, (scrolling down), explores the answers to that question. They are the foreigner’s story. The focus is on intimate domestic narrative and detail because these are the substance of my connection with Iran and they acquire enormous importance when I’m there. These posts show the collection of work for the exhibition I was invited to do in Iran, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Esfahan. At the last minute, the Foreign Ministry got cold feet and refused to provide an entry visa either to me or to the exhibition. I hope to show it somewhere in the UK but, until then, you can see pictures of it here.

Here's what I wrote for the catalogue about the plate above:

Creative Translation

This is what we all do when we’re not quite sure. Bluffing. We just fill in the gaps. It makes for some very fine misunderstandings. Some are not so accidental though. I suspect some are sibling mischief. Many young men ask me about migration. I tell them it’s not a soft option. You have to be very sure. It’s not easy being ‘the foreigner’ in England.
I also spend a lot of time explaining the situation regarding heating in England. The gas and electricity are too expensive to use, so you get used to being cold and wearing vests instead. When I come to Iran, I have to open the windows, even in winter. My friends shiver and put on extra clothes.

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