Setareh Salehi Arashloo

Knitted Camps

Cities shape and reflect their social, political and cultural environments in their material presence. Construction sites and partially demolished buildings—two inseparable parts of Tehran’s landscape—reference an instinctive, desperate and sometimes manic need to alter, to control, to build, to create and to destroy; procedures which can be traced in people’s movements and behavior in cities. In Knitted Camps, the series which I have been working on since 2012, I appropriate these gestures (building, creating, occupying, destroying and rebuilding) to draw maps of my lived experience in Tehran.

Shortly after I left Tehran, I departed from using photos as references of my works, and returned to my memories. Consequently, my image of Tehran changed from still frames to non-linear, abstract sequences of roaming around the city. Making marks, like writing on the margins allow me to explore and reflect on my ever-changing vision of my hometown which is informed by the interactions with the city and the people; from encountering a construction block while driving, to marching with people on the streets: the vision which I believe I share with a larger group of people.

Setare S. Arashloo