The Absence of a Name

Video: Installation overview
Date: Ongoing project since 2020
Location: Werby Gallery, California State University Long Beach (CSULB)
Materials: Three-channel video installation, concrete, aluminum, mirror, flower

“The Absence of a Name” is an ongoing project that includes documentary research, oral history, and a biographical investigation that is linked through sound, video, and installation. By using an anonymous gravestone at the cemetery in Qom, Iran, the installation revolves around the speculation of an individual's identity. The only information found on the gravestone is “Kaboutar, Ali's child.” Kaboutar is the Persian equivalent of a pigeon. Considering the cultural implications of this rare name and the pigeon’s association with public spaces, the installation is inspired by a poet and a warrior with the names Kaboutar and Kaftar, which also translates to pigeon in Farsi. In this instance, my biographical research aims to not only uncover an individual identity but to reckon with historical omissions and the way these omissions can account for a prismatic rendering of the collective naming of coincidence through identity.