Last week, I began a ten-week series exploring jazz that reflects a part of Iran, both as an actual place on the map and as a pure creation of art. This is Iran according to American and European artists of the 20th century. It is also the same country that makes daily headlines in the news, yet it is music that brings it a far greater truth than any pundit on a TV screen. In the second installment of this ten-week series exploring Iran through the world of jazz, let's gaze our eyes down to the magnificent floor coverings that inspired the classic jazz standard tune.
Iran as a country has long been a contested commodity in the modern era, its politics so pervasive, hardly a piece of artwork makes it abroad without some sort of oppositional branding -- the mere fact that it comes from Iran automatically makes it a piece of creative dissidence. The one medium that manages to evade any type of political baggage is not the artwork we hang on our walls, but the adorned canvas we lay out on our floors --Persia’s rugs. Like Iran’s version of Wall Street, these carpets, often called an Iranian’s stock or share, are more than a hypnosis of vivid colors and mesmerizing patterns: they’re a woven record of a country and civilization dating back over 2,500 years, and for most Iranians, a first encounter with the visual blueprints that we come to associate as art.
Three versions of Persian Rug which I'm going to discuss later