The art project YavashYavash
On foot with a gym wheel from Aachen to the USA – a RollMovie
My name is Shahin Tivay Sadatolhosseini. For 35 years I have lived in Aachen, Germany, as an artist, photographer, Rhönrad (gym wheel) acrobat and choreographer. Since my childhood days in Iran, I was always an enthusiastic gymnast. In 1985, during the Iran-Iraq war, my mother fled to Germany with me and my brother. Shortly after my arrival in Aachen I encountered the Rhönrad and was instantly fascinated by its elegant unity of acrobatics, dance and beauty. Since then I have represented Iran at world championships, coached gym wheel acrobats for many years, and worked as a choreographer. The Rhönrad accompanies me in my life not only as a piece of sports equipment, but has also become an anchor of my identity as an Aachener and a constant source of inspiration for my professional activities as an artist.
After completing the art project RollEast in 2015-17, walking with my wheel from Aachen to Tehran, I felt it was time to close the circle and depart to the West. On June 21th 2021, the longest day of the year, I start my new project YavashYavash, a walk with my Rhönrad from Aachen to the USA. In this way, I will connect my country of origin, Iran, with its supposed greatest enemy, the US.
Yavash means slowly in Persian and reflects my intention of travelling slowly and ecologically. I roll my gym wheel westwards towards the sunset from Aachen in the border triangle of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, through the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain to the Atlantic coast. On my way through France I search for a sail ship to hitch-hike over the ocean to the USA, and will continue my walk in the United States.
The wheel will serve as my pack mule, my powerhouse, my snail shell, my platform for the camera, and much more. Every day I will photograph and film the places and people I meet through my wheel. Traveling with this unusual and unexpected piece of sports equipment easily leads to a wide variety of encounters, as I found during my RollEast travels. I am particularly interested in engaging in direct conversations with individuals, as I have found these personal, one on one conversations to be the best way to overcome prejudices, create connections, and revise one’s opinion on the urgent topics of our time. The footages of my project YavashYavash will be used creating an innovative artistic documentary film – a rollmovie.
The wheel is one of the oldest and most important inventions of humankind, and the circle as its essence is the central element of my activities as an artist. The circle symbolizes repeating cycles; not only night and day, or the cycle of seasons, both of which take on significant meaning in my travels, but also the meditative effect of recurring movements, and the concept of closing circles, bringing disparate points together.
Follow me on my travels as I roll YavashYavash – DoucementDoucement – EspacitoEspacito - SlowlySlowly!