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komm rHein, 11:11, 2022-2023
komm rHein is an interdisciplinary project involving photography, video, text, and geometric installations that deals with the intersections of various boundaries—personal, natural, and political. The project doesn't believe in exhibiting just a final outcome; instead, it embraces and showcases exhibitions of its ongoing work. For more information, please open the Booklet below.
The video was created with short videos recorded with smartphone in two locations:
Basel, a city in Switzerland that is bordered by Germany and France,
Ventimiglia, a city in Italy that is bordered by France.
Roya is her name that signifies "dream" in Farsi. Her pronoun is "او", pronounced, "oo". In Farsi, there is no gender distinction, and "او" is used to refer to everyone. Her Iranian ID number is 22. She is from Zirab, a small town nestled in north Iran. The name "Zirab" is derived from "Zir," (زیر) meaning "under," and "ab," (آب) signifying "water" in Farsi, making it "underwater“ (زیراب).
Roya is residing on the Rhein River temporarily. From her room, she has a view of the middle of the Middle Bridge in Basel, the location where women* accused of being witches were once thrown into the Rhein River. At the same time, she was also grappling with news of the executions and violence in Iran and the destiny of those drowning in the sea while seeking refuge. Amidst this, she is not able to swim and confronts her relationship with water, envisioning a backward swim from the middle of the bridge to her room, her safe space, and forming a triangle in her mind. In this formal triangle, she uses the Pythagorean theorem and denotes the sides as follows:
Side "a" represents the distance from the middle of the Middle Bridge to the mainland.
Side "b" represents the distance between her room and the point on the mainland.
Side "c" represents the distance from the middle of Middle Bridge to her room.
a2 +b2 =c2
This technique has already been a valuable tool from ancient times, especially when direct measurements of distances, particularly across obstacles like rivers and Valleys, were difficult or even impossible.
Roya is the River and Valley that crosses the Italian-French border, where she, Roya, confronts people crossing the border or facing forced return to Italy, where she explores her name as a river and the water. She deals with the junction of the Roya River and the sea in Ventimiglia, Italy, which serves as a common gathering point for both people on the move and the locals. The Roya River originates in the mountains of France. As it crosses the political border into Italy, along with the Roya Valley, it presents a formidable challenge and acts as a natural boundary for people on the move attempting to pass through to France.
Catch-22 logic: A man* who refuses to go to war is considered sane, but the moment he expresses his unwillingness to risk his life in combat, he becomes classified as insane, and therefore, he must go to war.
Witch Hunting Logic: A woman* who drowned in the Rhine River is considered innocent, but the woman* who survived is labeled as a witch, and therefore, she must die.
In belief, sacred waters spared true witches but condemned survivors as practitioners of witchcraft, leading to brutal punishments like burning at the stake.
komm rHein, Booklet
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