Barbad Golshiri

About Destroying the Statues in Hakim Highway
Passing Hakim highway, we suddenly noticed white, pure and sincere Angels all over a hill. A small hill was specified to a serious contemporary artist. In a town which has recently observed some colorful sculptures and murals, mostly addresses the child-assumed citizens, accompanying the usual ideological urban works.  Amir Mobed is one of the most important and influential artists of this town. The Salmas square was blocked at the time of his last performance. It has now been a year that Mobed has spread thirty white Angels on the hill which was requested from the beautification organisation.

On a Thursday night we have been notified that there is a crowd on the hill and the Angels are not there anymore. We got there at two o’clock in the morning and saw that twenty eight Angels were cut from the leg and they were thrown away. They might have used an oxy acet cut because it was melted at the cut. Two Angels left at the side of Yadegar-e Imam highway perhaps because the hooligans ran out of gas. Neither the municipality, nor the beautification organisation could totally discard the Angels. To discard the cedar, they should cut the leg. They have cut the Angels and you could see their bodies right there.

Whoever, or whatever, cut them, might have been led by a dogmatic thought which left him/it no choice but to discard. It is how much we are used to discarding! I just took a photo right on the spot so they cannot claim later on that it was already broken. Like Mohases’s sculpture; Piper. In a documentary by Bahman Kiarostami, “Tehran’s Sculptures”, there is a sequence about an official who insists on the sculpture being previously broken and he mentions it so that it is not considered as censorship. Well how can bronze be broken in the first place? It needs to be cut. It is even hard to cut. Mohasses’s Piper was also cut, yet they claimed it was broken before. So many resting cedars “fallen” as we were told; yet how could a cedar “fall” all by itself?

It is every contemporary artist’s right to be a part of his/her city. Mobed’s Angels, the least challenging, were exposed in the city to which he belongs. How could it be too much? What did they think they were cutting? Mobed is among those who believe that the artwork must be exposed on the streets.

Streets though, do not seem to belong to organizations such as municipality and/or beautification. They seem to be the environment for “the others”.

Now the hill by Hakim highway in Tehran resembles the ruins, since all the ruins and wreckages look alike; either a covered fresque, a dried down pound, or an abandoned citadel asserted to have been a populated centre. They have all been somewhere; they all have things in common. Things that come to mind as well as are missed. Nothingness emerges in their absence. We grow things in the absence. And thus will be said that there has been something that could not be tolerated. Hence, the absence of the un-tolerated shows even a more powerful presence.

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