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The Guests of Desert: 22nd Environmental Art Festival in Iran - Isfahan- Talab Gawkhoni

Report: Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt
Photos by Raheleh Zomorodina (Minosh and Ahmad Nadalian)


Last month (April 2009)  an Environmental Arts Festival was held in the central desert of Iran, near Isfahan.





Artists in a truck-bed, going towards the salty sea of Gawkhoni





We stopped by a sand hill and I printed my new cylinder seals.  I was followed by two young filmmakers Lila and Saber who are making a documentary about my recent works.



Work by Mahtab




I used Hormuz red earth to draw flamingos.



Pure red earth on a salty, wet platform. 





Snakes and humans.



My German friend Sibyll kalff sends here childhood polar bears.  She asked me to take them along on one of my journeys. Here, in the salty sea, they seem to be in North Pole!



Work by Fereshteh

The other artists created many other projects.



Work by Noshin


Work by Mahmoud




My circle 



Black mountain beside Talab Gawkhoni


Collaborative project

Some artist assisted me to create this big snake.



Work by Minosh


We will restore nature



We remember our childhood and where we came from. 


Our conference



My light installation and tree



During the festival I presented my recent cylinder seals which show birds and snake.  I printed these cylinder seals on the desert terrain.



Work by Mehdi 




A pigeon tower


Pigeon Tower (Borj-e-Kabotar) is a strange building that lookes like a cylinder from outside. This three story structure is built around a central cylinder-shaped wall with holes in it.


The function of this building is to protects pigeons especially in winter from the cold. It was also advantageous to farmers in the days of old, as the waste collected from these pigeons could be used as a natural fertilizer.



This pigeon tower is under demolition



A pigeon, by Aref



I found two fragmented pieces of pottery near the pigeon tower and drew pigeons. As an ode to the pigeon tower, I placed a piece of this pottery back inside it.


A destroyed pigeon tower on a farm.


There has been a significant drop in pigeon tower numbers from the thousands reported in seventeenth century accounts of Safavid Isfahan by French traveler Chardin, to the present day count of approximately a hundred remaining in the entire province.  As an environmental artist, I would say we need to protect existing ones and build more. By doing so, man and nature can live in optimal harmony; the best way is that of an organic life and organic agriculture. 



In Warzaneh women traditionally wear white veils. This is another impression of Iran. It may be rooted to ancient Zoroastrian tradition.





On our way to Isfahan, I saw the dome of a mosque behind an empty factory. Juxtaposed with such magnificent and ancient architecture, I also came upon this cell phone tower.


What sort of view is this? We are living in strange time.



We can compare it to this mosque in Isfahan.




An old building which seemed as if it was looking and speaking to me.


Mithra in coach



I had a presentation in the coach





Last photo in train rail way station


See more photos on RiverArt web site.

... Payvand News - 05/15/09 ... --

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