“I’m Not a Song to Be Sung” is a three-channel video installation by Tooraj Khamenehzadeh, dealing with the concerns of an Iranian generation whose lives have been affected by long years of war, economic depression, and extensive sanctions. Many of them consider immigration as a more viable alternative than enduring the hardships of staying in their homeland. In the metaphorical atmosphere of the installation, water, which is not the natural habitat of the subjects, has become a barrier for communication, disrupting the connection to the outside world. Each subject can tolerate this unusual condition to a degree that can be different from the next person. Sooner or later, however, they all become discouraged as their desire to be heard fades away, and eventually leave the place merely to survive. In “I’m Not a Song to Be Sung,” each narrating subjects tries to engage in a dialog between “himself” or “herself” and “those” that are out of sight; between “here” and the inaccessible “there.”
Tooraj Khamenehzadeh, whose works are predominantly image-based, has always been concerned with social and cultural tensions. Similar to dramatic scenes from theatrical performances, these images are sometimes exaggerated and surreal, and sometimes realistic. Death, time, existence, metamorphosis, crisis, and oblivion are addressed or otherwise implied by the issues in question.