Thread is a series of sculptures made from everyday objects wrapped in black string. It includes traditional Iranian objects, such as a copper tray and blue tiles, and modern objects from Western culture, such as adidas shoes, and headphones. Each sculpture has its own title which includes the name of the object in Persian-English as well as its English translation, for instance, Sini (Tray), Kaashi (Tile), and Samavar (Samovar). The objects in Thread are among the precious objects I brought with me from my home city of Isfahan in Iran. Together the objects represent the care and protection taken when the objects are seen as tokens of phenomenological or collective memory. In modern day Iranian culture, these objects are part of the typical experience of culture which includes a combination of both traditional Iranian and contemporary Western influences. The meticulous work of wrapping the objects in black string is employed to hide, protect, and preserve the precious cultural signifiers for the Persian diaspora. It aims to highlight the changes in cultural traditions and the influence of English and Western culture by presenting both traditional and contemporary objects together. By placing the objects on plinths, this work borrows from the vocabulary of ethnographic display of cultural artifacts, but by obscuring, protecting, and wrapping the objects, it places them in the context of artistic objects. The crossovers between sculpture and textile work take into question the histories of art and craft, as well as the social aspects of gender and gendered labour. Some of the traditional objects in this artwork were purchased at Isfahan’s Grand Bazaar where shopkeepers/artisans often use string and paper to wrap the objects they sell to prevent them from being damaged. Their use of string and their careful wrapping of the traditional objects and handmade artifacts has influenced the creation of Thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sini (Tray) from the series Thread, 2017-20, tray and string

©  Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi

 

Skateboard (Skateboard) from the series Thread, 2017-20, skateboard and string

©  Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi

 

Kafsh (Shoes), from the series Thread, 2017-20, shoes and string

©  Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi

 

from the series, Untitled, 2017-18, skateboard and string

©  Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi

 

Oot’to (Iron), from the series, Thread, 2017-20, iron and string

©  Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi