Golrokh Nafisi
Participatory performance/Installation
Tehran January 2018  
Fajr Theater Festival – Off Stage

Assistants: Ahmadali Kadivar, Haleh Ghasemi Fard

“A crossroad is not just a crossing point, It is a meeting place too

I am here, sitting at this crossroad, busy to make a huge monster. I can make her body while her soul comes from your words. With your stories I will blow life through her body, and from your faces I will shape her face. So my eyes will be on your way until you cross the crossroad. Do not hesitate to sit with me. I want to talk to you about the 39 years that followed the revolution in Iran, about the dates you remember by heart, belonging to our personal and collective memories. I want to discover with you the hidden layers of this junction. Meanwhile, let me draw your faces on the blank dolls. Then let me put them inside the body of the monster. Let the monster become alive through our conversation.”

This was part of the invitation I have sent around before the show.

Crossroad took place in one of the most crowded street of downtown Tehran during the Fajr Festival, which takes place in Tehran every year on the occasion of the anniversary of the Revolution, since 1979. This year they invited artists and performers to perform and make works on the streets of Tehran, as part of the Off stage festival.

Crossroad was a working-station where I was making dolls, one by one, where people could sit in front of me and have a 15 min conversation about the last 39 years that followed the revolution. I asked each of them to give me a date which is really important for them, either from a personal or a collective memory, such as the year that they have voted for the first time, the year their children were born, or the year that the war between Iran and Iraq ended. During those five days I was sitting there, I slowly filled the body of the monster with the small dolls. Eventually, in the last day of the festival I carried the big body, and then pulled the dolls out of her mouth, while reading dates and sentences out loud:

“In 1999 I voted for the first time”
“In 1985 my daughter was born”
“In 2009 We became We”
“In 2013 I became clever because of Leila”

Passersby could take the dolls home. During the last show, more than 80 dolls were distributed among the audience.

Golrokh Nafisi
January 2018