Video Picks: Fabricating a new Tehran

The change or development of our hometowns and cities can often be a point of inspiration for artists.

Many artists have started life as architects and designers or work across these fields because of their interest in the urban or built environment.

Artist Nazgol Ansarinia was born and raised in Tehran. The city she remembers from her childhood in not the same Tehran of today. After years of hardship with the Iranian Revolution, the city is trying to get back on its feet.

Feature image: Nazgol Ansarinia, Residential building/ belvedere & garden on Resalat highway. 'Fabrications'. In collaboration with Roozbeh Elias-Azar, 2013. Plaster, resin and paint, 11 x 20 x 13 cm (4.33h x 7.87w x 5.12d in). Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai.

Find out more about Nazgol Ansarinia’s work on the Green Art Gallery website


Just after the millennium, the city’s ‘Bureau of Beautification’ commissioned artists to cover Tehran in murals. The paintings show idealistic scenes of countryside, blue skies and grand architecture. Nazgol Ansarinia went back to Tehran to find out what effect the bulldozing of historic buildings and creation of these murals is having on the memory of the city and its future for those who live there. This film documents her experience as well as introducing ‘Fabrications’, a series of miniature sculptural works that Nazgol made as a result.

Nazgol’s time in Tehran was part of a residency. This is generally a paid opportunity where artists can explore current themes and issues leading to them making a series of artworks. It usually involves the artist showcasing the work through; an exhibition or publication about the experience, hosting talks or holding workshops for the public around the project.
Looking for a different take on artists and their home city?
Watch Antony Gormley’s video on London in the Tate’s ‘Artist’s Cities’ series.

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