"Brevity is the soul of wit" - Hamlet
"Technology is a trickster and it has been so since the first culture hero taught the human tribe how to spin wool before he pulled it over our eyes..."
- Erik Davis, TechGnosis
"Life is the sum of all your choices" - Albert Camus
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Toronto-based, Iranian-Canadian multimedia artist presents Korsi, a reimagined traditional Iranian low table in an urban space. Used historically as a gathering place to stay warm during special occasions, Ghaderi’s large Korsi is equipped with heaters and a custom-made blanket that guests can drape over their laps to stay warm as they take in various forms of expression relating to themes of nostalgia, memory and home.
A diverse selection of musicians, poets, palm readers, storytellers, bellydancers and vocalists have been curated to accompany the installation in the spirit of togetherness and community. The table will be dressed with a giant plaster pomegranate in its centre, surrounded by decorative dates and pistachios — reminiscent of the artist’s family living room.
My intent is to share this beautiful tradition that is rooted in a region commonly misunderstood in the west. A Korsi is meant to bring families together. Without digital devices but with simple presence. It's a rural tradition that was popular when heating wasn't commonplace in homes; only fireplaces, jokes, music, banter, flirting and storytelling.
A project like this is important now more than ever. Politicians are running campaigns fuelled on fear; misinformed citizens are suspicious of the hair-covered foreigner and media often perpetuates division and "othering". For these 12 fleeting hours, the city will be reminded that we are all of the same vein, of the same unifying cloth. In this case, quite literally. I seek this feeling…a feeling that I hope will last in people’s hearts for 12 full hours. And the following 12 hours. And so on. And so on......
My family came to this country as political refugees from Iran, where my father worked as an artist. His work was persecuted by the government, and his artistic voice was muted through incarceration. My parents then decided to build a better life for their children in Canada. My artworks pay tribute to their journey, to the sacrifices they made for me and an ode to their cherished memories of an Iran that once was, and to the Iran that I never knew.
- Maziar Ghaderi
- one-of-a-kind decagon-shaped 20-person Korsi table
- 23 custom-made floor pillows to emanate the comforting atmosphere of a family living room.
- free tea all night
- situated in the heart of city
- 324 sq. ft of blanket
- various forms of live entertainment all night
Part 1 - Planning with dads!
Part 2 - Sewing 345 sq. ft of blanket and 23 custom-made floor pillows! Whew!
Part 3 - Tabletop construction!
Part 4 - Assembly!
Part 4 - Voila! Velcome!
Part 5 - Pillow Stuffing!
Part 6 - Giant Plaster Pomegranate Painting!
Part 7 - Documentary Making!
Part 8 - The Show!
Photo Credits: Nidal Abd & Emmanuel Marcos
With special thanks to:
Rachel Weiner and the whole team at the Gardiner Museum
The City of Toronto (especially Patricia and Shannon from the Nuit Blanche team)