= Well No. 1

Video, Performance, and Installation   

Mona Bizmarck American Center
Paris, France

June 2019
Science Gallery Dublin
Dublin, Ireland

Encours Gallery
Paris, France




Édouard Glissant builds his language with rocks.  I re-write histories with limestone and sandstone: reservoir rocks that hold dried up blood and wet petroleum deposits.  We come from the rocks: “fossil fuels are forms of energy in which great quantities of space and time, as it were, have been compressed into a concentrated form.”  I call to the prehistories and to the mythologies that hold fractured landscapes beneath, what is now industrialized dust and wind.  I find my place somewhere between the layers.  Somewhere between imagination and memory.  Somewhere between history and mythology.  Somewhere between your traditions and my words.  I set out to create my own Persian mythology.  This is = Well No. 1.

= Well No. 1 is a new mythology based on the first oil well in Iran and the first in the Middle East.  Through a series of fictional videos, ritualistic performances, and infrastructural meditation, this counter narrative serves to reverse this history of oil extraction as a practice in radical healing and transformative possibility.  Drawing on my own experience as a first-generation Iranian-American, I implicate myself into this story to unearth what has brought me to this place in time and space. 

1    exhibition view
2    ferdows = Well No. 1 is the preface to the mythology chapters.  In Farsi, ferdows means heaven or paradise.  The word also draws homage to Persian poet Ferdowsi and his epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings).
3    exhibition view

additional images and videos upon request