The Art of Stepping Through Time

Ala Ebtekar
The Art of Stepping Through Time
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The Art of Stepping Through Time is the artist's response to a poem by the renowned Iranian poet and scholar H. E. Sayeh, whose Farsi and English texts read in opposite directions across a 7-panel accordion structure.


Three layers of letterpress-printed paper, bristol, japanese kozo and vellum, create a continuous loop of overlapping text and imagery in an upright star-shaped display. The book cover front and back features blind-embossed Persian motif covers drawn by the artist with the title in each language. The accordian style structure has interleaved japanese kozo and vellum sewn in and is housed in a felted, hand-stitched wool pouch.


Ala Ebtekar describes his works as visual narratives that are a "crossroad where present day events meet history and mythology." He draws on Persian culture, diaspora, and migration to create "synthetic epics" with multiple interpretations and outcomes. 

Ala Ebtekar's work has been exhibited widely throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. As a teenager, he worked with Tim Rollins' seminal group Kids of Survival (K.O.S.) and later studied traditional Persian painting in Tehran. He earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from Stanford University. He is a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley and Stanford University and is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco.