Knock, Mark, Stitch consists of three animated sequences of gestures and moment from three stories that were previously collected by Setare Arashloo in a series of interviews with former political prisoners in Iran. The animation notes the moments of confronting, resisting, and breaking through confinement. The artist dissects these gestures and moments by repeating and gradually manipulating the sequence of the animated gesture. Your Place is Green is a photography and book project for which Arashloo utilized frames from her animation Knock, Mark, Stitch in her home studio. The frames are hanged as notes on its walls and window, through which she witnesses seasons and observes the light. The frames which are stills from past sequences are placed in the currents of light and shadow of the physical space, turned into sundials that mark personal accounts of time and create new sequences. The title is borrowed from the conversation with an ex-convict, which was previously recorded by the artist. “Your place is green,” is the English translation of a Farsi expression which means that you are missed. This project grew out of a collaboration with Form’as, which is a curatorial and book design project and focuses on the artist’s photographic exploration of a previously completed project. The text below is an excerpt from the book on this project:
What one can carry is defined by movement and the means by which one moves. When it comes to physical objects, the choice of what to carry is made by the limitations of physical space and the practicality of the material. I’m not sure what affects what one carries in mind, and how it is carried. This book holds notes and imagined sequences of a past, narrated through personal stories of a beloved community of former political prisoners in Iran; most of these stories take place sometime between 1982 to 1987. These fragments of imprisonment, resistance, loss, and hope, constitute a heritage that I carried with me to another continent and remember daily; a legacy that, in my life, is re-animated, retold, morphed, branched, expanded, taken over, accompanied, hidden, found, and projected . . .
Setare Arashloo was born and raised in Tehran, graduated with a BA in Painting from the University of Tehran, and received a post-baccalaureate certificate in Fine Art at Maryland Institute College of Art and MFA in Studio Art at Queens College, CUNY, New York. Setare is SPQ Certificate program candidate. She is an alumnus of AIM fellowship at the Bronx Museum and is represented by Azad Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Her works have been exhibited in Iran, US, Afghanistan, and Australia. She is a member of Workers Art Coalition collective who recently, created an oral, ethnographic history archive about IBEW Local 3 electricians for the library of congress. Her documentaries, “Workers Art Coalition” and “ Precarious Workers Pageant,” both on issues of labor, has been screened at UnionDocs and Cinema Village at Workers United Film Festival 2016.
Arashloo uses video, animation, installation and performance to reexamine marginalized and non-hegemonic accounts of history. In her project “Marks on the Margin,” she collects stories of imprisonment through conversations with former political prisoners, many of whom she grew up with. She approaches the project through the material objects that they made while imprisoned and investigates the generating strategies underlying these prison crafts and their background stories. The objects are regarded as alternative narrators of history, being repeated today, that were not recorded and discussed without being subject to censorship. Through her project, Setare aims to preserve a legacy of the resistance she sees as embodied in these imprisonment stories.