The Other Apartment
Mattress Factory Museum (Pittsburgh, U.S.) & Sazmanab (Tehran, Iran), 2019-2020
Collaboration with Sohrab Kashani
The Other Apartment is a collaborative project between Pittsburgh-based artist Jon Rubin and Tehran-based artist Sohrab Kashani that occurs simultaneously in Kashani’s apartment in Tehran, Iran, and an exact replica of that apartment and all of its contents at the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, U.S..
Using detailed photographs from Kashani (who is not able to travel to the U.S. due to the current travel ban on Iranian citizens), the artists worked with a team of fabricators to meticulously recreate his Tehran apartment’s facade, interior architecture, and all of his personal possessions. From his soap dish to his furniture, everything in The Other Apartment has been purchased, altered, or entirely fabricated to replicate what exists in Kashani’s apartment.
For the past 11 years, Kashani has used his apartment as a space for exhibiting contemporary art and as an artist residency, one of the first of its kind in the country. From September 2019 through July 2020, Kashani and Rubin will operate the space together in The Other Apartment, producing exhibitions, programs, and events where every object, video, and performance that happens in one space is reproduced for the other, keeping both apartments identical across the 6,300 miles that separate them.
The Other Apartment functions as a series of theoretical and practical questions within the sad absurdity of our current political condition: What if there was more than one absolute reality; can you build a space that functions as a loophole around national borders and economic sanctions; and what gets lost and gained in the act of duplication?
Project Manager: Brittany Reilly
Tehran Team: Yousha Bashir, Golnoosh Heshmati, Siavash Naghshbandi, Shirin Rezaee
Translation: Golnar Nemat
Apartment Building Contractor: Tom Reynolds (Dovetail Home Improvements), Ben Wojtyna, Kevin Clancy
Pittsburgh Fabrication Team: Adam Welsh (Director of Exhibitions), Jenna Arnold, Seth Davidson, Dig Divine, Evyn Dowd, Josh Ice, Shohei Katayama, Anthony Kovacs, Keith Loughrey, Alex Lukas, Erin Mallea, Ezra Nepo, Katherine Pirilla, David Rosenstraus, Lilah Rubin, Max Spitzer, Jason Tracy