response of iran

the photos

click at the pictures above to enlarge

the notebook

notebook

click at the notebook above to look in the original notebook or read the notebook text belove in english

the notes by

SARVANAZ DEZVAREH
TEHRAN, IRAN

APR- 2002-3 (WED)

Today I received an e-mail from Hanne Godtfeldt.
I can take part in the project “breathing”.

I prefer to write in my mother language. It’s much easier to write about my thoughts and ideas.
Since the Farsi handwriting is write from the right side to left. So I start my writing from right side of the notebook.

[The translation from Farsi into Danish and from Danish into English has been a bit complicated. We hope this is acceptable. HG & SHS].

This parcel that I received has really puzzled me. Because I don’t know what the idea of this exercise is. But I am very curious and I will complete this task.
The first problem that I have encountered is that I haven’t used an ordinary lead pencil since primary school. Since then I have only used art pencils. I find it difficult to write with an ordinary lead pencil. And secondly I don’t have any space in my room. My walls are covered with my own drawings and necklaces that I made myself. So I have to find a spot for it.

When I look at the works of art on the wall I get a nice feeling. Another thing that makes me happy is previously, when I have been writing, I have never thought about what I was writing or whether anyone would be reading it. But after having written for 8 or 9 years I am now writing about my experiences and my ideas, so that I can secretly share them with somebody. This thought amuses me.

Usually I place my diary on a cupboard next to my bed. That way I get the time to write and then read what I have written before I go to sleep. I don’t know why I read what I have written, probably because I want to make sure that my thoughts are on the right track.

In regard to the name of this exercise, - why this name and what is the point of this exercise? What should I draw and what is my starting point? (To save I will hereby use both sides of the paper). “Breathing” means to breathe in relation to private life and nature [unfortunately the translation is failing here HG & SHS]. I am not sure what the point of breathing is. It can be a way of letting go of one’s thoughts or one’s past or other things…..

Yesterday when I started this exercise something new happened. My dad’s negative conduct and opinion, for example. As my room is filled with my own work I intend to do the exercise in our living room for the three weeks. Yesterday and today we had visitors and my Dad said; please, wait until the visitors have left. But as I was going to see how it would look on the wall, I took down two pictures and that made my Dad cross, so I had to put them back. I was really unhappy that the house wouldn’t co-operate with me. But when I realised that I couldn’t carry out the exercise on the walls, there was, however, a step in a positive direction. I talked to my big brother, Siavash, about the word, Breathing. He said that it reminded him of a fish swimming out of water. The word reminds him of the movie Arizona Dream.

It was quite funny that when I discussed the exercise with my friend in America through email and chat my friend warned me; I should be careful with this exercise. I like people’s reaction to it.

The sheets are hanging on the wall, but I haven’t touched them. When I am sitting on the sofa in my room looking at my work I get a good feeling. It is fun and unusual to hang some A-4 sheets on the wall and to take down pictures that my Dad likes and hang up other ones. The unusual things that you do are all part of it, if you want to participate in these exercises.

I have made something, but it is not good enough. I don’t know why, it is probably because I am working too graphical, but no. When it looks like I haven’t done anything it worries my mum, because she thinks that I am not doing anything. But it doesn’t matter, because I believe, that art will take however long it needs. Because everything has to fit together, every piece has its own procedure.

My mum has a good perspective on the words breathing in and breathing out. The words make my mum think of Afghan women wearing masks. The big garments that they are wearing, so that you can’t see the shape of their body or their face, which they got rid of at the fall of the Taleban regime.

One of my friends is certain that I am working slowly but doing well. Everyone has his or her opinion that they are telling me about. Breathing reminds me of the colour blue. I am not sure whether breathing means blue or whether it’s just me who wants it to mean blue? But, anyway, it reminds me of the colour blue.

Sometimes I consider gluing cardboard onto paper and filling it in with writing and signs. But I am not really sure.
I think the idea with this exercise is to find out about people’s culture, their points of views and different emotions. Can they cope with an exercise without the necessary instructions, and how much effort are they going to put into each item in connection with such an exercise.

A couple of days ago, when my Mum returned from university, she handed me some papers in regard to breathing. It was partly what her colleagues had given her and partly her own reflections. My Mum worries about my work and has great respect for it.
On the paper it said breathing in and breathing out:
1. Two different things that you cannot separate. Put together it is a nice relaxing feeling.
2. An easy medicine used to avoid the stresses of life, both the psychological and the physical.
3. Spring the great opening of life.
4. The opening of the “codes” of the brain.
5. The best way to avoid stress and fatigue, to avoid negative affects on the body, to jog and walk especially in springtime, when you are happy.

Regarding the photos:
1: The first picture that I was going to take is completely blank, because I was fairly “busy”, so therefore I took a picture of it before I finished painting it. The location where I took the photo was in our living room.
2: I don’t like the second picture, which is my family portrait. I want to use my family for the exercise, but my Dad can’t be bothered with these exercises and can’t “wait”, and my Mum is very upset that I wouldn’t let her put on some nice clothes.
3: The third picture was the biggest problem, since my Dad couldn’t be bothered to walk up and down four floors, because of his knee, and he doesn’t like being outside, as he is not very sociable. So I took a picture of them in front of our door (4th floor No 10). And if we were to go down in the street my Mum and I would have to wear Chador. This is demanded in our country. This matter is very important to our people. I had problems with lining them up; there is certain rigidity about it. And they wouldn’t be persuaded into doing it in any other way.
4: The fourth picture is how I wanted it.
5: I thought a lot about this picture, and I had different ideas. Siavash, my brother, wanted the picture to be that of a man, eating jam. Sometimes I envy his abilities; I myself wanted to work with shadows of dancing people where you can see them breathing at the same time. Or I wanted to take a picture of one of my works of art, because I like their shape. In connection with this my mum’s idea was very interesting, as she insisted that I should take a picture of corners of our home. But it was my exercise and it was me who should it carry out. In the end my work of art became the fifth picture.

I really appreciated the period that I was in contact with Hanne Godtfeldt. The things that I learned from her had nothing to do with the actual exercise. But in connection with the exercise I gained a bigger knowledge and I was able to feel things more easily. For example I was able to sense things that went on in our home and sense how differently people can behave and act even when living together. The differences between generations, between cultures, between men and women etc…. but everything was good.

To be honest I was really disappointed that after four semesters I was not able to carry out an exercise properly. But another thing that happened, in connection with this exercise, was that through my contacts to other countries my language significantly improved for my forthcoming semester.
One thing more, that happened, was that I could sense my inner self a lot better, my culture, my race, my thoughts and many other things.
Other people’s thoughts in connection with this exercise were one of the most important things.
In short everything was great, thank you very much.


[Unfortunately several of Sarvanaz Dezvareh’s photos could not be developed. HG & SHS].