Rostam in Wonderland [Five (5) Episodes]

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Rostam in Wonderland [Five (5) Episodes]

Series: Rostam in Wonderland
Edition: 1/3 + 2 artist's proofs
Tehran, Iran, 2012-2014
Time Based Media
Single-channel videos
.2.1; .3.1) Duration: 00:05:04 .2.2; .3.2) Duration: 00:05:10 .2.3; .3.3) Duration: 00:07:52 .2.4; .3.4) Duration: 00:07:08 .2.5; .3.5) Duration: 00:06:31
Gift of the artist (M.2015.68.1-.3)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

As with other literary masterpieces, the Iranian national epic, the Shahnama (Book of Kings), has an appeal and an elasticity that have allowed successive generations to discover or invent new meanings. Inspired by the text, many contemporary Iranian artists elect to bypass its universalities in favor of more specific social commentary. In this animated video, Rostam, the great hero of the Shahnama, is transplanted to the twenty-first century, where he struggles with the comically absurd and all-too-realistic trials of everyday life in Iran: inflation, drug addiction, extreme plastic surgery, and the harsh realities of economic sanctions. Pouya Afshar, the creator and producer of the Rostam in Wonderland series, is a multimedia artist and professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where he teaches animation and interactive media. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in Los Angeles and Tehran. Soroush Rezaee is an animator whose Tehran-based studio, Sooriland, has produced numerous popular web series. He wrote, directed, and animated the Rostam in Wonderland videos.


  • Komaroff, Linda. In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Munich; New York: DelMonico Books-Prestel, 2018.