Monday 21 May, KNESH SPACE Launch
The event kicked off at 6 pm in Fordham Park, New Cross, with a participatory performance by Saba Zavarei. In this piece 5 stories were read by herself and three other volunteers. The piece was her take on the recent fragmented yet collective movement of Iranian women, unveiling in public spaces in protest to the compulsory hijab. Saba's piece suggested that it is through dissemination of the documents of these transgressive acts on the social media, and adopting similar tactics for protesting that these divided individual acts become united, a collective protest.
Then the crowd headed towards the campus of Goldsmiths. Along the way, the audience was asked to stop when Vanessa Lehmann gave a short introduction about KNESH.
While walking towards the next stop, a huge white balloon in the sky caught everyone's attention. People stopped to take pictures of it. Then they walked into one of the buildings on campus where the rest of the evening was planned to take place.
A workshop by Alex Rhys-Taylor, an urban sociologist based at Goldsmiths, took the audience on an exploration of the sensoria that suffuse urban spaces, metropolitan sensibilities and the formation of urban geography.
After the workshop, people were invited to go for a short art excursion and see the artworks around installed in and on the building.
Back in the room, Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Iranian public artist gave a talk via Skype on the sublime and the experience of scale in his murals in Tehran, Boston and other cities around the world. He reflected on his childhood experience of living in the farm and how his daily encounter with the huge scale of lands and sky in those days has influenced him in working on massive murals.
The event finished with David L. Martin, lecturer in Visual and International Politics at Goldsmiths, final notes and a Q&A with Ina Weise, the German artist and lecturer whose work, the white balloon, was a way of challenging the scale of buildings and representation of power. Her installation was made in reference to one of her previous site-specific works that took place in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina in collaboration with Nima Keshtkar.
Organisers of the event and the editorial board were Vanessa Lehmann, Saba Zavarei, and Louise Rondel.