The Back Room

A performance by Wafaa Bilal.
Friday, September 23, 2011
11:30am-1:30pm, NYC | 8pm-10pm, Tehran
Documentation on view through October 10, 2011
White Box, NYC | Aaran Gallery, Tehran

Co-curated by Ava Ansari and Molly Kleiman of the Back Room, in collaboration with MA.P.S White Box, NYC, and Aaran Gallery, Tehran.


With eighty-seven Iranian performers, an empty swimming pool, and five cameras, Wafaa Bilal developed A Call as a memorial to the dead, the living, and the forgotten of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). As the Iranian government denied Bilal an artist’s visa, he attended the September 23rd 2011 premiere at Aaran Gallery in Tehran remotely, from a parallel opening at White Box in New York City. A video of the Tehran installation and its visitors streamed live on White Box’s walls. The mediated performance enacted the dislocations, delays, and ruptures that war breeds.

View the performance online:

Read an conversation about the making of A Call, with Ava Ansari, Wafaa Bilal, Molly Kleiman, and Nazila Noebashari: “Being There,” ArteEast.

The performance was made in collaboration with curators of the Back Room, Ava Ansari and Molly Kleiman; curator and director of Aaran Gallery, Nazila Noebashari; performance director Hamid Pourazari; photographers Aliyar Rasti and Sasan Abri; cinematographer Amir Mousavi; technical director Sohrab Kashani; choreographer Sara Reyhani; and lighting designer Rodin Hamidi; and many other performers and contributors.


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