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A LOSS OF TIME? ABBAS ZAHEDI+ALBERTO VALLEJO

14.10.21.

A LOSS OF TIME? contains movements that come from chess moves, clock mechanisms, derived from beverage production or related to clinical trials to combat akinesia. All of them are traversed by political strategies and temporal structures that determine displacements and sequentiality. Around this, the proposals of Abbas Zahedi and Alberto Vallejo use generic and abstract languages to speak of personal and situated experiences and expressions of time and movement. Articulated by the possibility of increasing circulation and quickening time, as well as by the need for stabilisation, invariance and permanence. / ABBAS ZAHEDI’s images explore a sense of play with protocols, processes of analysis and methodologies in regards to food preparation, its rhizomatic structures, and the “domestic” technologies of movement it involves (blenders, centrifugal pumps etc.) The images were produced in the year of the Brexit referendum in the UK, whilst Zahedi was working as part of the startup team of a handmade artisan soft drinks company in Hackney called Square Root London. The Cedro lemon that appears in one of the images used to be imported from Italy and Spain. Its square shape is reminiscent of the experiment with the slave boy in Plato's Meno, where geometry already implies a tendency toward abstraction —a movement towards a timeless, fixed, and unchanging space. The circulation of products, their transformation and the centrifugal and abstract movements to which the images allude are today read after the resolution of the long Brexit process. These images are related to a pharmacological text —which Zahedi wrote ten years prior, during his medical training in 2006— documenting his analysis of the clinical trials of a new drug for Parkinson's disease, aimed to increase movement capacity in patients with poor mobility derived from a loss in neural connectivity. The question Zahedi pens across this text specifies an intrinsic relationship at both the physical and political level: “THE LOSS OF MOVEMENT / A LOSS OF TIME?” / Using a thermostable and anti-static blue watchmaker's mat, ALBERTO VALLEJO's images retake the grid as a language of modernity and as a strategy of abstraction to build a queer temporality that is not sequential and that unfolds as a duration without change. The first three images indicate the movements of a “drawing weapon”: a chess move that is used to bring a game to a draw that will never be resolved. The next three images present annotations on a longitudinal ruler, contrasting its sequential advance with the oscillating and circular dynamics of a pendulum, the centrepiece of automatic watchmaking. The shape of the number 6 contains the spiral that incorporates the pendulum's movement to the hands of the clock. These spirals in clocks are always made of invar (FeNi36): the metal with the lowest coefficient of thermal dilatation —the minimum expansion due to temperature change in such precarious mechanisms makes the watch gain or lose time or, in other words, makes time become unpredictable and unstable. The Breguet spiral is a historic advance in watchmaking that manages to further stabilize the cadence of time by bending the spiral back on itself. The last image shows a calendar disk that arranges the days of the month in a circle; in chess, after 50 or 75 turns without captures, either of the two players can request a draw if they consider that the game is unsolvable and could be extended indefinitely.