Parasite Architecture is an ongoing project initiated by Shahram Entekhabi in 2001, focusing on artistic interventions in public spaces. These interventions aim to challenge the notion of ownership and control over public space by temporarily marking specific areas without official permission. One such performance took place in Geneva, Switzerland, near the statue commemorating the assassination of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
During these performances, Entekhabi strategically places barricades and extends caution tape over a designated area, effectively claiming it as his own for a brief period. By appropriating public space in this manner, he raises questions about the rightful ownership and usage of public areas. The actions provoke reactions and prompt viewers to contemplate the complex dynamics surrounding public space and its accessibility.
Entekhabi's personal background as a migrant also informs his exploration of the themes present in Parasite Architecture. He recognizes the prevalent discourse surrounding migration and the persistent perception of "otherness" within public spaces. Through his interventions, he highlights the weighty connection between migration and the presence of marginalized communities within public environments.
The performance in Geneva, organized by Forde Independent art space and curated by Madeleine Amsler and Véronique Yersin, involved the placement of approximately 2500 meters of caution tape near the statue commemorating the assassination of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. By combining the act of marking public space with a historically significant location, Entekhabi draws attention to the intersection of collective memory, public representation, and contemporary issues.
Since 2001, Entekhabi has been employing caution tape as a symbolic medium to create temporary boundaries and challenge preconceived notions about physical spaces. His performances, known under various titles such as "No Exits," "Cautions," "Attention," and "Hazard," have taken place in diverse locations worldwide. Through these interventions, he exposes the spatial divisions present in society and prompts viewers to reconsider their relationship with public space.
Parasite Architecture serves as a thought-provoking exploration of social, political, and migratory dynamics, inviting viewers to reflect on the boundaries that shape our public spaces and the narratives that define our collective experiences.
Curated by Madeleine Amsler & Véronique Yersin
Organized by Forde Independent art space