Tooraj Khamenehzadeh

Peripheral Reality

Wrestling in Iranian culture dates back to several thousand years ago, to the time of antiquity and mythology. The narrations of the great heroes (Pahlavan) such as Rustam, Puriaye Vali and later of Haj Hossein-e Razzaz, Haj Mohammad Sadeq-e Bolurforush, …etc indicate the high rank of the heroes in the Iranian society. The national heroes’ ranking in social arena is so high that in the first Pahlavi dynasty, Shah’s court, feels the danger and decides to eliminate the position of heroes in the society.
In 1940, the first round of wrestling championship contests, copied exactly from the western contests, is held in Iran. Little by little in zurkhanes (traditional gymnasium), the wrestling mat and mat wrestling becomes popular and heroic wrestling moves from zurkhane’s octagonal pit (gowde zurkhane) to wrestling mat. The championship wrestling attracts the traditional heroes and the heroic traditions and ethics are translated into modern championship and medals.
Now people, the media and the governments cheer for champions and medals. Medals which are auctioned in Friday Bazaar, Seyyed Esmail Bazaar or are forsaken in the memory box of a champion.
In this collection, the portraits belong to a generation of wrestlers from Qazvin, who have gained many national and international medals from 1955 to 1985 and …
This is to commemorate those of them who live and those who have ceased to live.