and speak (why?) with mute ash (2022-ongoing) by Ashkan Sepahvand

A storyteller, a sodomite, arrives with painted face, seven-colors. The earth colors his skin: zinc, rust, soot, antimony, indigo, henna, gold. A bag slung on his back, he carries a load. He wanders, he flees, he takes his stories with him, he staggers under their weight. Ever since the burning of the cities, he drifts the world, always a foreigner-native, a native-foreigner. A storyteller knows that life is smoking, he writes for no one, his writing is nothing. A sodomite's language belongs to the fire, and so a storyteller prepares himself to speak to mute ash. He sets down words, volatile, material, to mark the limits of a corrupting earth. He unpacks his bag, spreads out his belongings, he oils and perfumes the papers, he writes and reads. He offers words to the fire that eats no food and drinks no water. A sodomite's language is held in its hearing, a memory of the departed, a faith in their corruption as completion. A storyteller seeks to transform earth, he vows to become heathen, and so he leaves behind nothing, which is something.

Ashkan Sepahvand is an artist, writer, and researcher. He was born in Tehran, Iran, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lives and works mostly in Berlin, Germany. His practice takes time. His work includes publications, performances, drawings, curated exhibitions, study situations, spread arrangements of images and objects, and regular collaboration with friends. He is primarily interested in translation and its relationship to reading, writing, corporeality, and environment.