press release

28.10.2022 - 31.01.2023

Morehshin Allahyari : Zoba’ah: The Whirlwind

Zoba’ah: The Whirlwind—a digital exhibition by Morehshin Allahyari. How can we participate in creating the world we want to see and live in? To download artist Morehshin Allahyari’s sculpture Zoba’ah: The Whirlwind you have to agree to a set of “terms and conditions” written by the artist and answer how you will take small actions to change the world in the bigger picture. In this way, you summon Zoba’ah, a creature from the Islamic world, who always brings about sudden change.

To download you hereby agree, represent, and warrant that:

You are here and you recognize your privileges (if any) have shaped your life experiences. Privilege is defined as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only or preferably to a particular person or group.“
You are here and you recognize that race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual preference determine our access to opportunities and resources.
You are here because you recognize the inequalities and uneven realities of our world.
You are here because you want to be more responsible, more aware, and kinder than your ancestors.
You are here and you recognize the long ongoing history of Western colonization and white supremacy.
You are here because you too believe that colonialism, racism, capitalism, sexism, and environmental crisis are some of the most troubling and ongoing issues of our contemporary world.
You are here and you recognize the need for change.
You are here and you will be an ally.
You are here because you believe even small acts of resistance can make a difference.
You are here and you believe the same troubles that shape our world today will shape our world in the future; if unchanged.
You are here because you believe we need to do better.
You are here because you want to make space.
You are here because you want to participate in re-imagining another timeline.
You are here because you want to participate in re-imagining another space.
You are here because you want to participate in re-imagining another future for us all.

Based on drawings of the jinn Zoba’ah from the 14th and 16th centuries, the Iranian-born artist Morehshin Allahyari has 3D modeled the sculpture Zoba’ah: The Whirlwind for the Museum of Contemporary Art’s virtual collection. In pre-Islamic and Islamic theology, a jinn is an intelligent spirit known as a shape-shifter created from smokeless fire, who exists in a parallel world. As one of the most powerful jinn, Zoba’ah, which translates as “whirlwind,” brings immediate change once summoned. Meaningful change is needed, Allahyari believes, in this time of fights for justice, wars, and urgent climate disasters. Therefore, she brings Zoba’ah into virtual space, which has represented a crucial public arena in recent years for transformative movements such as the current Iranian Uprising led by women under the hashtag #MahsaAmini, Arab Spring, anti-imperialist movements in Hong Kong, the EndSARS uprising in Nigeria, the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, and the Me Too movement.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (est. 1991 in Roskilde) collects, researches, and exhibits ephemeral and time-based artworks. To better host these formats and engage new audiences, the museum became an itinerant museum in 2021.