2024

Every place has its own alphabet: an exclusive language in which it responds to the surrounding environment and tells us whose milieu it has constituted, and to whom it beckons. At a higher level, it defines the spiritual climate of that place.
The seeker of realms longs to capture the spirit of places. She feels that she belongs to none and to all. She picks a word and a letter from each place and each language. She makes a borrowed, patchwork body from the body parts of others. Out of a thousand pieces, these body parts make up a home together. The seeker fashions a home that stands in admiration of any concept of home, but simultaneously regards it with a grimace. Every time she is rejected by circumstance, the home becomes embodied in a different corpus. She parts with every home. She lets go and is let go: suspended somewhere between being the narrator and the narrative itself, between watching and being watched, between reality and its double.

Can she who seeks the answer to the question, “Which ship belongs to Theseus?” and has found herself amongst many different selves, find the Theseus who dwells within her?-Mahsa Aleph’s installation features a space constructed from discarded building materials found in dumping sites in the outskirts of Tehran. This material, often used by migrant workers to construct makeshift homes, prayer spaces, and other shelters in Iran, has traveled miles to find its place in this installation. This space speaks of territory, of margins, and of multiple identities embodied in multiple bodies and spaces. It speaks of otherness and of gender roles: of who sees whom and what happens “in”and “in-between” segregated spaces. Mahsa’s work fosters contemplation about where we consider to be home and to what degree that home mirrors our true selves.

-Untitled, Digital photograph, (24 x 33 cms), Ardebil, northwest Iran, 2023. Untied, Digital photograph, (24 x 33 cms), Bushehr, southwest Iran, 2024.
Found Object: Megaphone used at a school from, before the revolution in Tehran, Amjadiyeh neighborhood. -Sound:flag/wind
-Six holes, 5 cm in radius each, in the wall next to the stairs. Reference: In old mosques, there are holes in the walls of the Andarooni(the women’s section) separating it from the Birooni (the men’s section) that give women the chance to watch the men without being seen by them.
The small room represents the Andarooni, which in Persian means “the inner-space”, part of the private quarters of historic houses in Iran, and often the territory of women-A megaphone that magnifies the voice of the male orator from the main hall (the outer-space).
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-Podium for the orator and an armchair next to a microphone on a stand. -Silent Video loop: Flag on the roof of a house in the eastern slums of Tehran, 2020. -Digital photograph, 2019, Besiktas, Istambul, Turkey.
-“Home returns home,” Digital photograph, 32x24cm, Berlin Brandenburg Airport.2023. The photograph was taken at the artist’s moment of encounter with a lifeless body/home waiting to enter an airplane, to be shipped back to its homeland. This coincided with the moment when the doors (body-parts of homes that no longer exist) were arriving from Tehran. One is departing, and the other, returning home.
Translation:Watching is the act that transforms you into the landscape. If you’ve never been part of the landscape, then you’ve never watched.
Watching is the act that transforms you into the landscape. If you’ve never been part of the landscape, then you’ve never watched.
-Plastic burlap with hand- stitched patterns and stencilled text from the artist’s notebook,. 100 x 400 cm,. 2024
-The ceiling of the space is, made of 20 discarded doors found at construction waste sites in the eastern outskirts of Tehran. Each door is from a different period, a different architectural style, and a different neighbourhood.
Installation 850x450x350cm
-Plastic burlap with hand- stitched patterns and a stenciled poem. 100 × 200 cm each. 2024. Translation: I burned, since building is in burning. I destroyed, since construction is in destruction. – Shams-i Tabrizi
-The ceiling of the space is, made of 20 discarded doors found at construction waste sites in the eastern outskirts of Tehran. Each door is from a different period, a different architectural style, and a different neighbourhood.
Installation 850x450x350cm