Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi

Plate It with Silver, 2015
Film, duration: 33 min

Babak Afrassiabi and Nasrin Tabatabai’s work Plate It with Silver (2015) is a video set along the northern and southern shores of the Strait of Hormuz referencing peripheral relations to the waters from minor economic ventures like smuggling to possession-cult practices throughout the region. In the latter, individuals are believed to become possessed by ‘winds’, another name for imperceptible spirits, which circulate between different parts of the region and across the seas from India and East Africa along historic trade routes.
Central to the work is the rattan stick used in possession rituals. The stick functions as a device for negotiating between the worlds of humans and spirits, the body and the wind, material and immaterial exchange. Plate It with Silver includes the process of plating a rattan stick at a silversmith workshop in Sharjah.

Co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Artwork courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation Collection