2015-01-30 to 2015-02-13
Solo show by Baktash Sarang
The Tower of Babel is a story told in the Book of Genesis, of a people who spoke one language and they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them over the face of all the earth, and they ceased to build the city.*
The Tower of Babel is the story of a failed utopian project, and probably that is the common trait in all utopian projects, ideas and projects that attempt to build utopia, but find meaning in close encounter with failure and the more idealistic they are the possibility of failure is larger. If the tower of Babel ever existed, the location would have been the historical city of Babel in Mesopotamia, the region called Middle East today, where the contemporary history of the region, is not unlike the story of Tower of Babel. The region where even its current given name is a challenge by itself and its contemporary history of wars and struggles (often inflicted from outside), with waves of revolutions, civil wars, collapses and changes of Regime –all happening in short spans of time- is the embodiment of idealism and failure.
A region that seems to be fenced in and resembles a forbidden zone where ruins of many towers, in state of decay and decline, can be found. Towers that are the epitome of the idealism of their builders and quite often reminders of despotic regimes that have attempted to build their Ideological towers whilst their people are forced to live with constant fear and terror, the kind of fear that Mikhail Bakhtin called Cosmic Terror.