I’m fascinated by cultural portals and urban spaces that serve as thresholds between multiple identities and geographies.
I grew up in California but was always aware of this other place, where my parents came from, and where I was going to live one day. I was emotionally pulled to this other country, this imaginary Iran.
The author Edward Said often discussed the impact of exile on the imagination, while the poet Joseph Brodsky explored communities in exile as an "altogether elsewhere." I am interested in furthering this dialogue to explore the ongoing synthesis of cultural narrative and popular myths, particularly in response to the initial 1979 Iranian exile to America, and specifically to California. I am interested in the nostalgias for a lost Iran and a mythical Persia, as much as I am intrigued by the concept of a future Iran. What type of future does hybrid nostalgia produce?
The works here explore concepts of alternate realities, space, and utopia against the backdrop of a photograph of the famous tomb of the poet Hafez in Shiraz, Iran, and a found science-fiction movie poster. The philosophy permeating much of Persian literature focuses on the now. But what about tomorrow?
For more information, visit Ala Ebtekar's website or download his CV.