Exhibitions et super Tay

This exhibition summarises ten years of Iranian poetresearcher Vahid Davar’s life in the United Kingdom. The posters run in a non-chronological order, starting with ‘The Owner of the Fish’, an illustration for ‘Nassim’s Testament’, Davar’s self-translated narrative elegy for Nassim, a friend, an imaginary fellow asylum seeker and an alter ego. It is followed by mirror selfportraits drawn over ten years, revealing the author’s self-images as a shapeshifter. Davar’s perception of his protean self is replicated in two doodled pages from the manuscript of ‘Nassim’s Testament’ featuring a swanscorpion, a metaphor for Nassim, and a fish - a creature that, as it swims, shifts shape. The drawings are interspersed with extracts from ‘Nassim’s Testament’ which lead to excerpts from Davar's PhD thesis on JamshidZahhāk, the first mythic king of the world in Persian mythology. Being both the good and the evil king in one person, Jamshid-Zahhāk in Davar’s view is the foundational myth in the conceptions of kingship in the Iranian imagination. The last poster is the poet’s vision of his graduation from St Andrews. Wrapped in a thermal blanket, the Dundee refugee is standing on the Tay, and two hands from high above are confirming his graduation with a pun on the Latin formula ‘et super te’ (and upon you).