Amir Mobed’s last work, “Repetition” was presented on 20th of June 2013. In this radical performance, a vast area of the gallery was covered with dried stool. In a stinking pile, Amir’s body was buried and “in deep shit” in a hole. The performance took a short time and soon over with the audience taking him out of it. This performance was adopted from the (Persian) idiom “in deep shit”, which was symbolically demonstrating the issues of people in Iranian society. The form of the performance, though different, reminded us of Otto Muehl works, the German artist during the fluctuations in 60s and 70s in Europe. Both performances targeted at social criticism. Although Otomohl’s performance included concepts in different layers, followed “desacralizing” of the figure except for its radical form.
Amir Mobed’s performance indicated an explicit level in meaning adopted from a Persian Idiom, in which the force and fate of remaining in the static/immobility has been pictured. As in Golshiri’s statement: “a desire for reaching back to origin, honest and pure repetition, would only be fulfilled when time has no depth. When we are convicted in an instant in time. Like being buried in a little yet deadly pile. Like the pile in the sandglass which has remained intact for all time”.
Tarahan-e-Azad Gallery deprived the audience from recovering and interpreting with a sudden, one-night performance, and such tact protects the gallery manager from possible imposed challenges and organized compromisations. The “author-oriented”ness of many performances and the legal responsibility of the artist would preserve the gallery in an indifferent observer status. Such performances, one might admit, may turn it to be an unpredictable happenings.
In Mobed’s performances, the participation of the audience would be reduced in the structure of the work in order to keep the performance in the course of a planned project. The restricted interactivity preserves the work in a fixed
framework, while the structure and style of a performance, in particular, is open to the audience and allows them to enter and to exit.
On the contrary to this attitude, Mobed’s works have the feature of challenging the thoughtful audience and draw their body and mind to a limit reaction. Some of his performances have earned new readings, though “appropriated”, they seem too close to some globally famous works, it created a new understanding according to the contextual framework and culture in his own country. And that is considerable indeed.
Translated by Narges Marandi