Art in the Age of Pipelines
SCREENING AND TALK
The extraction of oil in Iran fuelled Iranian modernity and was the prize sought by intervening colonial powers. This evening will raise conversations around the politics and culture of oil in Iran from mid twentieth century to present day. Beginning with a screening of A Fire, the 1961 visually dramatic documentary of a 70-day oil fire by director Ebrahim Golestan. The film was edited by poet Forough Farrokhzad, one of Iran’s most famous poets and a close friend of Behjat Sadr.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion looking at the influence of oil economy over arts and culture in Iran, reflecting on this both in the modern era and present day. The conversation will also raise the relationship between oil and landscape, revealing how the oil industry has transformed the natural environment, and discuss todays current state of natural emergency. With Morad Montazami, Touraj Atabaki and Ashkan Sepahvand.
Morad Montazami is curator of The Mosaic Rooms’ exhibition Behjat Sadr: Dusted Waters. He is an art historian and curator. He is the director of Zaman Books Publishing and its related journal Zamân. He is currently a research curator at Tate Modern, London.
Professor Touraj Atabaki is Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History. He is Professor Emeritus, holder of the chair of the Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia at the Leiden University. His next book is titled The Iranian Oil Industry. A Twentieth-Century Social History.
Ashkan Sepahvand is an artistic researcher based in Berlin. He teaches at the University of the Arts Breman. His long-term research interests include tracing associations between histories and imaginations of the body, nature, colonialism, futurity, queerness, collectivity and ritual.