Listening to Images
گوش سپردن به تصاویر
Shortly after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the new leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini banned music in Iran, equating it to opium. Many artists relocated to Los Angeles, where there was an Iranian music scene. There they had to find new ways of making a living, which often happened through recordings or concerts of the genre dāmbuli dimbol, since it was what people would dance to at parties and celebrations. This music was then smuggled into Iran through the installation of satellite antennas to get the Persian Music Channel on TV or sold at secret music stores.
In the installation work Listening to Images, portraits of sculptures in Konstakademien have been replaced with prints of banned pre-revolutionary Iranian and Arab singers. The silent corridors are filled with their songs. In the restaurant, an abstract painting has been swapped with three posters from the dance party Keeping up with the Iranians. On the balcony overlooking Nikehallen, three of its performances are on display: Tehrangeles Dreaming, Another Birth, and Confessions on a Dance Floor. Iranian music becomes a catalyst for realizing dreams—from downloading illegal music in Iran to acquiring a visa to the US to produce music. The viewer becomes a listener, even a dancer at times. See you on the dance floor!