The Blue Box
The Blue Box was a live performance which was held in March 2007 in Tarrahan-e-Azad gallery in Tehran.
Concept and idea
The idea of my first project ("The Blue Box") came from a dream in which I was typing sentences which appeared at once on a big blue surface on the wall. For me that was a metaphor of leaving the author - oneself - with all his mistakes and follies very visible and therefore vulnerable. That way, he could not hide behind editing and re-editing his text to make it more presentable. Bringing the audience in touch with the atmosphere which one - as a practice of literature - writes in was a personal rebellion against my instinctive fear and conservativeness about publishing. Also, I found it somehow cathartic as well as playful to sense the presence of the audience while expressing my feelings about the atmosphere with words in a very improvisational way. Also with this form I could embed the process of writing (as a creative action) in a context and time-frame which usually it does not belong to.
During two sessions of 20 minutes, I've tried to write the atmosphere of the gallery and the actions and reactions taken place there. Everything I was writing was projected on the wall of the gallery on a blue background.
Generally, the assumption for the audience of performing arts - at least in my country - is to keep silence during the performance and I wanted to challenge this. So it was obvious to have more questions than answers. Also, at that time I could remember reading interviews with authors talking about the process of writing fiction and its relation to the real world and real people.
So, I set up the needed accessories and started to write. Although there was a flier given out to the audience saying that the performance "is going to be a reflection of you" and they were somehow invited not to keep the silence which is very common in art galleries. But a very diverse set of reasons made this connection between the work and the audience almost impossible. So in the darkness of the room, the atmosphere was still. Was it a failure? One can say that. But I tried to reflect the silence in my writing by describing my feelings and sensory inputs in a descriptive way.
Another project of mine (entitled "Glyphlux") was the extension of "The Blue Box" and somehow a solution to its failures. In "Glyphlux", I wanted the connection to the audience to be seamless and unavoidable as well as intuitive and playful.
Question: What is the significance of language in this work? (from Q&A with Roshanak Keyghobadi)
As the idea of "The Blue Box" was initially very related to the process of writing as a creative activity and the role of the author, I find the role of language important in that work. Personally, that performance was a struggle to use the language to reflect a hidden - though tangible - reality going on in the atmosphere of the gallery. It was hard to stay away from the description of physical events and also to avoid getting drowned in inner dialogues. So it was basically a try to keep the language like a good communication channel; free from noise of the things which are easy to say but don't have any deep effect and to put all the effort on an honest signal which can sink in.
Some photos of the rehearsal session can be seen below.