mosaic speaking:
“I feel dead, please animate me”

Following the two workshops and collective intervention to the racist imagery of the mosaic mural located in the Bremen central station which took place under the title “Beyond Undoing a Rediscovery” with the help of AIR InSILo, Aria Farajnezhad turned five of the reconfigured mosaic pieces of the image of the vessel into their original material, meaning ceramics. He takes these five ceramic pieces which were produced in collaboration with Eghbal Joudi and with the support of Ute Alexandra Fischer (the leader of the ceramic workshop at the University of the Arts Bremen) and Gaurav Talekar to Hollabrunn.

Farajnezhad uses the time in the residency to develop a workshop and performative piece around the ceramics, to carry them to the city where He meets local artists/activists/actors in Austria as a point of departure to talk about working conditions, forms of producing work with poor material, and recipes for collectivity.
He offers the ceramic pieces that he brings with him to be carried/borrowed by collaborators/interlocutors during the conversation that they are going to have in Hollabrunn/Vienna.
Interlocutors who have confirmed their participation are the following: Gleb Amankulov, Mika Maruyama, Nour Shantout, Alexandra Tatar, and Rojda Tugrul.
The workshops in which the image of the vessel as part of the Mural was reconfigured, were held by Farajnezhad in May 2023, and were hosted partly by the collective exhibition Lacuna Inside a Dumpling at Weserbug Museum in Bremen and the Circa106 project space within the Common_S Knowledge_S residency program. Together with the participants of these two workshops they tackled the image of the vessel and over-wrote/drew it with sentences like the one that is selected for the title by using markers on paper.
The five pieces that now transformed from paper to ceramics will be carried along to become the “common” to talk about the working conditions as a precariat, to initiate an inter-local dialogue among cultural practitioners that encounter budget cuts, precarity of having no contract as a freelancer, gatekeeping, and other deficiencies on a daily basis.
In the text “Why did I Linger Upon the Vessle the Longest” which was published as a zine namely “Letters, meaning” Aria Farajnezhad writes:
There is something captivating about the representation of the vessel that is disturbing alongside the over-representation of European man that is encoded in the over-representation of the technology that was used to subjugate, expropriate, enforce labor, murder, and … I see in the picture the celebration of the trans-Atlantic tobacco trade, and the praise of the ability of mari-technology to reach out, possess, and take advantage, I can not avoid thinking about the transatlantic slave trade, European capital, African labor, American land to supply European market happening between 16th and 19th century.

In another part, he writes:
Why the Wandmosaik has not been abolished yet? In 2002 there was an Umbau, in which the mosaic wall was discovered underneath an advertisement of a spaceman and rocket launch. The Man1/2 is still at work, the transatlantic expeditions in the 14-16th centuries, have shifted to the scale of extraterrestrial expeditions to another planet. I like to pause on this moment, in which the city decides to keep the image exposed, thereby letting it be propagated and interjected in the everyday life of almost 150,000 people who pass by the central station each day.
The notion of Man1 and Man2 are concepts that Aria Farajnezhad draws from Sylvia Wynter, the secularising homo politicus and liberal homo oeconomicus that Sylvia Wynter traces back from Columbus’ “discovery of Amerika” genre-specific notions of Man-as-Human that both foreclose an otherwise and render the other as categorically inferior to post-Renaissance post-Darwinian European Man and perpetuates the role-allocation of superior/inferior. How to practice epistemic disobedience? A form of knowledge production that is not from the top but from below? How to invent tools to acquire voice, and agency on a discursive level but also tools that could help us negotiate and if necessary reclaim the “public” infrastructure and transform it into what it is supposed to be, a truly public space available indiscriminately to people to give shape to it, reconfigure it, contextualize it, if necessary deconstruct, abolish and rearticulate it. These questions are intertwined with the question of public space pertaining to images it reproduces every day by accommodating artworks, monuments, and advertisements but also accessibility including physical obstacles, but also symbolic violence embedded in the hostile architecture, restricted and securitized areas, etc.
The project is bringing those questions and the methodology to Hollabrunn, also literally bringing the weighted ceramics to activate further conversations with the local actors in Austria.

Illustration: © Gaurav Talekar