Berlin Fellowship 2022 — Visual Arts

Mahsa Aleph

*1990, Iran

Lives in Teheran (IRN) 

Instagram: @mahsa.aleph


Mahsa Aleph is an installation artist who studied fine art at Tehran University of Art. Aleph’s projects deal with classical Persian literature. She “reinterprets” the content of this discourse in physical forms – as if she’s reifying the abstract essence of words into something concrete and tangible. Her work’s central theme is concerned with existential questions regarding human identity and its essence – the relationship between a being and its environment. The “historical memory” of materials and objects is a central motif in her installations.


The concept of my current project is “spatial displacement”. The idea for this project came from my intuition to perceive or construe the physical space/time or a place as an object of memory. It’s as if the concrete space encodes the memory of the reality in itself. The act of physical displacement of a place (say a building) from one space/time region to another imposes additional content on the place itself. For example, a building in Tehran is just a building in Tehran. However, when we displace it to another city – for instance, to Berlin – the newly constructed place no longer bears its function, aesthetics, character, or its cultural significance. But it can house within itself enigmas of displacement in its new installation.