The Gate of All Nations at Persepolis, which Xerxes commanded be built.
An aerial view.
I was going to post some youtube clips about the Iranian Revolution. There are some good videos out there and a huge number of racist, Islamophobic, colonialist ones as well. Pretty depressing.
This is one of several videos that look like raw footage of the revolution. There’s no voice over or any attempt to organize the images into a linear form.
An original work by Denis Brown.
Note the layering of textures and texts. In the past, a palimpsest was created when an old vellum was erased and recycled and a new text was placed on top of it. Inevitably some of the prior writing ghosted through to the surface. When we transpose this concept onto physical terrain such as the Presidio we see that the traces of the past are never completely obliterated. They bleed through the new exterior here and there, complicating and enriching our understanding of that space. As a critical method, the palimpsest requires not only that we note this phenomenon but that we then develop some argument about the meaning of this juxtaposition. By now the history of the Presidio is very familiar to us. What claims can we make about the strata of historical moments piled upon that site?