Morad Montazami is an adjunct research-curator at Tate Modern, for the Middle East and North Africa, supported by the Iran Heritage Foundation. Montazami also serves as the Editor in Chief of the journal Zaman, which focuses on post-orientalism, cosmopolitan modernities, and the intercultural traffic at the crossroads of the Middle East and Europe. Until recently, he was the professor of Art History, Visual Culture, and Cultural Studies at the Advanced Institute of the Arts of Toulouse, France.
Montazami has a Masters degree in English literature and civilization (LLCE) from the University of Nanterre, Paris and is about to complete his PhD in History and Theory of Art at the Ecole des hautes etudes en science sociales (EHESS). Montazami is the author of several articles and essays on various artists such as Farid Belkahia, Bahman Mohassess, and Davood Emdadian.
The anachronisms or the counter-geographies that were revealed in Bahman Mohassas’ works were very singular and unique, at least they could appear, but also echoing all sorts of counter-geographies occurring in very specific era of the ‘60s and the ‘70s because Iran was at the same time looking after finding it’s own sort of modern identity or its own place within the modern process and also experimenting very complex and most schizophrenic relations with the Western powers.
Persian American Dream
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was embodying some sort of Persian-American dream in the sense that he was following a dream for the Persian antiquity identity reformulated through the modernization and industry process of oil economy and modern infrastructures, which was inseparable from a sort of union or at least coexistence with the demands and needs expressed by the Americans, obviously, at that point.
In films like “The Wave, the Coral and the Granite” or a film like A Fire that Ibraham Golestan filmed in the beginning of the ‘60s, you have either visual inventions like, for example, the way to film and to edit the manifestation of an oil plant burning and the reddish landscape of the rocks that get sort of contaminated by the expression of the fire, which is escaping from the oil plant, or either through poetical and narrative devices as he does in “The Wave, the Coral and the Granite.” These are ways of narrating a story which is both belonging to a very ancient time and experience back to the ruins of Persepolis and where the oil companies had to settle their iron machines and huge devices for extracting oil, that is to say properly around the archeological sites like Persepolis where oil was extracted.