Still from video about paradise I, 2012 · Maja Weyermann [262]

About the project

The two video portraits, about paradise I/II, were conceived as a continuation and an extension of the real-time-nomads video works. These new works were realized in 2011/2012 for and in Hamburg.

In a variation on the work of real-time-nomads, the new video-films delve deeper into the relationship between personal and cultural memory, shedding light on the connection between cultural memory and the construction of space*. The working process remains unchanged. Quotes from interviews are woven together with 3D simulations of imaginary spaces and with video recordings from the business spaces of the interview partners.

One important and long-standing community in Hamburg is the Iranian community. Among other groups, it consists of many merchant families, some of whom have been there since the 19th century. Amongst these businessmen and businesswomen, many carpet traders can be found, since carpets are one of Iran's most significant exports.

The basis of the video works about paradise I and about paradise II are thus conversations with Iranian carpet traders. In these conversations, the central theme is not so much the individual's memory of a concrete room. This time, it is much more about symbolic-abstract space and the different layers of past histories of which the carpets are witnesses. Some recurring motifs in the carpets are plants and elements or symbols which recall landscapes or gardens. The latter has a central meaning in Persian culture, whose history dates back to the pre-Islamic era. In a land which is predominantly covered by desert landscapes, the garden is associated with paradise. (The word paradise originated in ancient Persian.)

about paradise I/II Using video and 3D animations, the films lead us associatively from the real situation of the carpet traders in Hamburg, by way of the carpet as a consumer good, to the ideas and emotions the carpets inspire in the traders as artefacts of cultural memory. 3D simulations are used to make experiences of those spaces possible which cannot be entered with a video camera (imaginary spaces, spaces of memory, etc.). By coupling these simulations with video recordings from the interview partners' places of business , the videos are bound to the “real”. The combination of both media (3D and video) is constructed in such a way that the two cannot always be differentiated from one another. In this way, the overlapping of the visible and the invisible, of the abstract and the concrete and of memory and presence is made evident.

*Space as the result of social relationships, arising from the acts of individuals or groups.


about paradise I, 2012, digital video, 11 min. 39 sec.

  • about paradise I, 2012, digital video, 11 min. 39 sec. · directed by Maja Weyermann [260]

about paradise II, 2012, digital video, 12 min. 33 sec.

  • about paradise II, 2012, digital video, 12 min. 33 sec. · directed by Maja Weyermann [261]

The videos are to see in

Feb. 5th - May 06th, 2012
Wahlverwandtschaften -
Imaginationen des Nomadischen in der Gegenwartskunst

curated by Peter Herbstreuth


Daniel Baker, Joseph Beuys, Olaf Holzapfel, Bettina Hutschek, Damian LeBas, Richard Long, Wilhelm Müller, Rémy Markowitsch, Ulrike Ottinger, Nada Sebastyén, Maja Weyermann, Akram Zaatari

Museum für Völkerkunde
Rothenbaumchaussee 64, 20148 Hamburg.
Opening Hours Tue - Sunday 10 a.m - 6 p.m.
Contact Tel. 040. 42 88 79 – 0

Catalog of the exhibition
P. Herbstreuth (Hg), "WAHLVERWANDTSCHAFTEN Imaginationen des Nomadischen"
Leipzig 2012, ISBN 978-3-926196-63-7

and they are available on DVD
Feel free to contact us.



© Maja Weyermann, Berlin 2012

performance :about paradise I:
Mohammad Tehrani

about paradise II:
Mohammad-Reza Nobari
Schahin Partovi
Mr. Shakerie

Carrie Roseland

Ralf K. Dobrick

Maja Weyermann
Sven Flechsenhar

editing & sound:
Krzysztof Visconti
Maja Weyermann

Sven Flechsenhar

music by:
Britta-Ann Flechsenhar
Christian Kögel

directed by:
Maja Weyermann

produced by:
Maja Weyermann
SFB 586 “Difference und Integration”
Universities Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg
Peter Herbstreuth

special thanks to:
Dipl. Des. Sabine Tehrani and Mohammad Tehrani
from Mohammad Tehrani Antique and Contemporary Textile Art

Dr. Monireh Nobari
Mohammad-Reza Nobari
from Djavad-Nobari OHG

Sven Flechsenhar

Botanical Garden, Hamburg
Adventure Iran
Generalkonsulat Istanbul
Antiquariat Reinhold Berg
Norderwerft GmbH & Co KG

Support about-paradise

about paradise I and II, realized in 2011/2012, is kindly supported by

SFB 586 “Difference and Integration”

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Institute of Ethnology, University of Leipzig

The following videos are excerpts from current works.