72 VIRGINS PERFORMANCE BY SHAHRAM ENTEKHABI (BERLIN, GERMANY)
15-16 April 2009, Kant Island in Stoa Kantiana, the «72 Virgins» performance by the artist Shahram Entekhabi (Berlin, Germany) took place; it was organized by the Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts.
Video and photo documentation of the performance were introduced in the frames of the Russian exhibition: «Topography of Happiness: a Russian wedding» in the National historical-architectural, artistic and landscape Memorial estate «Tsaritsyno» (Moscow) from 25 July to 18 October, 2009. The exhibition aims at representation of new ceremonial parts of modern culture, demonstration of a wedding ritual in all entirety of its «daily life», not just its «old» tradition of the 20th century.
Creative performance by Shahram Entekhabi is dedicated to author’s interpretation of a special tradition, present in Kaliningrad: to come to the Immanuel Kant’s tomb in order to lay flowers and drink a glass of champagne during the wedding ceremonies.
The author visualizes an existing myth in some belief systems about a hero, having gone to Heaven, is promised to be given 72 angel-like creatures (or virgins) there. Of great importance in this work is the combination of white and black colors in the clothes of the female participants of the ceremony.
Eastern mythology connects black with a feminine side, as it’s a color of the Mother-Earth, a giver of birth. A white flower is a symbol of purity, luminescence, chastity and a wedding ritual. In the European tradition, among other interpretations, black is also treated as a color of triumph and power. So, a symbolic combination of black and white doesn’t only underline a solemnity of the ceremony, but also refers to wisdom, as universal human virtue, combining power with purity.
Shahram Entekhabi’s project, in the first place, is about uniqueness and world perception of everyone, about tolerance and respect, about diversity of cultural and national traditions.
Photo documentation of the project: Alexander Lyubin, Egor Sachko, Olga Kharina
Video documentation of the project: Danil Akimov, Oleg Blyablyas
The organizers express their sincere gratitude to all participants of the project.