September, 2014


concurrency is a poetic analysis and aesthetic investigation of the intersecting symbolic imagery and cultural iconography found in Iranian banknotes from the Pahlavi period to the present day Islamic Republic regime. By extracting, altering, and weaving together the cultural icons, historical narratives, and political messages found in the currency of each era, the resulting fictional banknotes present subverted identity signs with a hegemonic appropriation to highlight what is present and what is lost.

By removing the monetary value, these bills function solely by their system of signs. Using associative and successive relations of sign system, the elements in the bills are brought together to create new meaning, blending narratives, socio-political controversies, and aesthetic textures of past and present, while narrating and highlighting the relationship between how these emblems are presented and the shifting concept of national identity they imply.  The packaged bills complement the historically commodified nature of banknotes as currency fluctuates worldwide, positing that the symbolic cultural and political message embedded in these pieces of paper sustains its own power long after regimes themselves may lose it.

Photo credit: Catherine McElhone