Tehran: The City Interrupted
Text by Azadeh Akhlagi
The city is a complex organism riddled with contradictions. The eerie silence that permeates these images creates a mood of disharmony and rupture, forging an apocalyptic reckoning of what has come to pass. This city, Tehran, is like a human body, fallen to its knees in confrontation with its settlers: the city centre appears in deep- freeze – half-finished buildings that loom like giants made of debris; trash heaps that have not been cleared; highways abandoned of cars; a dilapidated basketball court; washed out murals and billboards that present a scatological sense of desire – all tell the story of a frozen and lifeless age devoid of citizens, annihilated or simply those that left in the wake of a pandemic. Without communication there can be no network, and so it is the lack of a dialogue, the inability to connect that has left the city inert.
Reza Nadji is the documenter of a downfall, a seeker of the boundaries, both social and ecological in which the fundamental notion of urbanisation through coexistence is now interrupted. The city-citizen of the future will mark his presence through an absence. An integrated structure of the places and people will cease to exist. Silence and death will prosper as buildings loom like deformed and incomplete creatures. Fatigued and broken- hearted, the city awaits in agony for the spring to come, and for life to end this age of frost.
All images from the series Tehran
Meydan-e-Kuhestan, Sa’adat Abad
Rooftop of a Building on Vali-ye-Asr, Kavusiyeh
Ayatolla Taleqani, Behjat Abad
Meydan-e-Jahad, Behjat Abad
Building, Kordestan, Shahrak-e-Valfajr
North View from Eskan Building, Bolvar-e-Mirdamad, Kavusiyeh