︎︎︎ Works


2021 - cont.

    Place-names are an important part of our geographical and cultural environment. They identify geographical entities of different kinds and represent irreplaceable cultural values of vital significance to people. Many of places having been named after well-known figures but the question is: will the existence of a name or a historical monument fully represent that cultural or historical figure? Since the aim of this project is to question the names of places and commemoration of the names in the city in the form of traditional and passive methods such as making plaques or inanimate monuments, I decided to propose a metaphorical place that actively responds to this challenge. This has achieved through the active presence and interaction of people in a place that is more real and tangible than a title that is assigned to a place in the form of a label.

    Assuming that each person has a place in society due to their presence and activity, I established my place inspired by the names of the squares in German as Farzaneplatz. This place is neither a physical place nor a utopian place, but a state of my presence and action in relation to public space and people, which changes according to different circumstances and times. Farzaneplatz is ongoing and remains open ended. I have allowed it to make an impact in any geography all over the world and pursue it as an exciting project to give myself and others the opportunity to develop in any situation.

Grund/ Boden

Market Square and Platz der Grundrechte - Karlsruhe

    The aim of this project was to invite passers-by in the public space in Karlsruhe to think about the complex of themes of soil, private and public land in the form of property and the basic rights associated with it, and to help shape these thoughts and worlds of experience in the form of a participatory art project.

    As part of my artistic project in Karlsruhe, I collected soil from different parts of the city and formed spheres. I offered these spheres to passers-by on Karlsruhe's market square as so-called property. In return, I asked them to write down their thoughts and reactions to the topic of land and soil. For four days I collected the notes of the passers-by and presented them on the last day of the performance on the Platz der Grundrechte together with the earth spheres.


Frauenplan - Weimar

   Living in Weimar for several years, I've seen the city as a historical museum, with many locations named after influential figures in literature and politics. Among these, "Frauenplan" stood out to me due to its feminine connotation. Despite being a residential area, the name felt soulless and disconnected from its space. This inspired me to create a project highlighting the presence and importance of women in Frauenplan. My goal was to make it a place that represents all women, reflecting democracy, humanization, and feminization.

To achieve this, I set up an interactive installation in Frauenplan. I invited passing women to sit for a portrait, offering them the original drawing afterwards. In return, I asked them to share their stories, plans, and feelings with themselves, using my drawing board as a mirror.

I asked three main questions:
  1. What is your personal connection to Weimar?
  2. The word "Plan" in Frauenplan can mean both "square" and "plan." Do you have a plan you want to share for today or tomorrow?
  3. How are you feeling now as I am portraying you?

The portraits I drew captured not only their physical appearance but also the essence of our conversations and their reactions.
© Salman Vakili


Am Horn35c
    Inspired by Nowruz, the Persian New Year, I created an interactive exhibition at Farzaneplatz. This exhibition celebrated my cultural heritage while fostering cultural exchange and exploring the theme of renewal and rebirth with visitors. In early spring, I invited the public to experience the spirit of Nowruz at my place, asking them to bring an item symbolizing renewal and rebirth from their perspective. The exhibition featured several elements:
  1. Haft-Sin Table: Displaying seven symbolic items starting with "S," each representing values of nature and life. Other traditional items were also included.
  2. Winter to Spring Sculptures: Representing the transition from winter to spring using snowballs placed on metal strainers over glass jars, illustrating the melting process.
  3. Fertile Soil Sculptures: Balls of soil from my garden symbolizing the power of land and life. Visitors could take these soil balls to nurture their plants, promoting growth and renewal.
  4. Micronaturescopes: Wooden sculptures with metal handles made from tree branches. These pieces allowed viewers to see the surrounding nature through naturally formed holes, symbolizing hope and wonder.
  5. Eggshells: Representing parts of my inner and outer self. Visitors could take an eggshell and leave a symbolic item in exchange. The eggshells symbolized rebirth and the cyclical nature of life.

    By involving the public, we created a diverse new table set, with items like eggs, books, flowers, apple seeds, teas, hair clips, music, poetry, letters, and bottles of air and water, each representing renewal for different individuals.
© Salman Vakili

The Last Snow

Marktplatz - Weimar

    At the end of winter 2021 I offered the citizens, passers-by, and tourists of Weimar the last snow of the year at the market square. And in exchange, I asked them for a smile, a sentence about their winter mood or a donation for "Tasifan" (group of a city circus).

    Every time passers-by were interested in taking some of the last snow, I asked them in what shape and size they would like it. I got a lot of smiles from passers-by of different ages. Some of the requests from people who were interested in having "The Last Snow" included a form of a moon, a Thuringia sausage, melted snow and balls in different sizes. Along with the comments that people wrote about their feelings of winter, € 23 were donated to charity.