Son[i]a #167 Nasrin Tabatabai, Babak Afrassiabi and Soledad Gutiérrez about "Seep"
Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi have been collaborating together since 2004. The result has been several joint projects and the publishing of the bilingual magazine Pages, in Farsi and English. Both their projects and the magazine's editorial approach are closely linked, and often focus on specific moments in the modernisation of Iran, which they materialize as into meditations on art and contemporary
The inspiration behind "Seep" are materials from two archives related to the modernisation of Iran. The first is the archive of British Petroleum (BP), related to the company's origins in Iran between 1901 and 1951, from the discovery and operation of the first oil fields in the Middle East to the nationalisation of the oil industry. The second dates to a quarter of a century later: this is the western art collection of Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMOCA), which includes works from the late-19th century to 1979, when the museum was closed following the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
SON[I]A talks to Nasrin Tabatabai, Babak Afrassiabi and Soledad Gutiérrez, the curator of the exhibition, about the process of the construction of modernity in Iran, and how archives can be re-examined through artistic practice and, as such, become a tool for re-writing history.