Still Images

Attenzione / Bologna, January 27, 2005
PAL video (performance documentation), 07:50 min., color/sound
Camera: Gea Politi, Max Gartezla, Kathleen Cleaver and Lauren Lavitt
On the occasion of the Bologna Flash Art Show,

For a number of his artistic projects, the artist Shahram Entekhabi (born in Iran in 1963 and based in Berlin) invented the figure of the “migrant” as his alter ego: Dressed in a shabby dark suit, the back of the jacket slightly too narrow so that when he strains, the light artificial fabric crinkles up a bit; with shiny black shoes several years out of style, an old-fashioned suitcase in his hand.

For the performance “Attenzione” on the occasion of the Bologna Flash Art Show the “migrant” reappears again, this time with an intervention in public space in front of the building hosting the show - in addition to a similar action he realized in 2004 in front of the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland/OH.

The man appears in front of the building, where the art public walks by to enter the show. He begins to unroll red-and-white caution tape, routinely used to block of areas that represent a danger for the public. He knots the end of that tape to a tree or some lamppost. With fierce determination - or is it resigned repetition? He screens off an area. First he blocks off the busiest path that leads to the building. Then, he begins a somewhat longer walk to other parts of that area. He attaches the tape to a tree there, and then returns. His walk is steady, remains faster than “normal,” and his face remains unreadable. He does not respond to queries about what he is doing. He is himself inside the space he is creating. Everyone else is kept out. If this is about work, he can be surmised to be doing the road work; a typical job for a migrant, at the bottom of the social ladder. But something is amiss in this interpretation, in spite of the likeliness of it to occur to the bystanders. The assault to the sense of security that emanates from the arbitrariness of this action represents the opposite of the security this tape is normally representing.
Instead of protecting the people from accidents, it pushes them out of the space is challenged.

Text: Kathrin Becker
Kathrin Becker Kathrin Becker is Berlin based curator and writer (artistic director of the KINDL – Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany).

"Attenzione" appeared in the following Publications: Travelling city
Publisher: Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (Ecuador) 2015-10-3
Author: John Ramon Barbancho Rodriguez
Language: Spanish, ISBN 13 978–9978–77–244–7 ; ISBN 10 9978-77-244-8>

شهرام  انتخابی    尚莱姆_恩特卡比
Shahram Entekhabi is an German-Iranian- artist, curator & architect, currently living & working across Tehran, Iran - Berlin, Germany and Europe.