“I have become a queer mixture of the East and the West, out of place everywhere, at home nowhere”.
– Jawaharlal Nehru
Behzad Khosravi Noori is an artist and researcher based in Stockholm. In the exhibition Professor Balthazar and the Monument to the Invisible Citizen he takes his starting point in the then Yugoslavian (now Croatian) animation studio Zagreb Animation School and their eccentric children’s animation Professor Balthazar from 1967 – a childhood memory shared by people from very different cultures and countries across the world.
By asking the questions: “Do you know Professor Balthazar?”, “How do you know Professor Balthazar?” and “Why do you know Professor Balthazar?”, Behzad Khosravi Noori creates a story. It is a narrative of the political circumstances and agreements that existed parallel to, and in juxtaposition to, the West-East dichotomy of the Cold War. He has a particular interest in the alliance that came to be known as the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) and its focus on anti-colonialism, anti-racism and peaceful coexistence.
Professor Balthazar is the ingenious scientist living the colourful and somewhat crazy Balthazar-grad. With his magical machine he can resolve any problem facing its citizens. Professor Balthazar loves nature and all living creatures, he defends the weak and fights against evil, he favours peace and tolerance. Professor Balthazar is also a time capsule of a time and place saturated by politics.
Behzad Khosravi Noori takes his starting point in his own experience of a childhood in 1980s Iran as well as his position in today’s Sweden. Through his artistic research he establishes a hypothetical but universal connection between personal memories and global events.
In the exhibition, Behzad Khosravi Noori has erected a multi media monument to an invisible citizen, an interpretation of an actual monument that is built in the episode Martin Makes it to the Top. In it we are given the opportunity to both think, play and rest.
Photographer: Jean-Baptiste Béranger