Aquarium Syndrome

In many religions all the sins were believed to be rooted in primary sins which are behaviors or habits that directly give birth to other immoralities. Namely in Christianity seven vices are counted as seven deadly sins. These seven deadly sins are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

The issue concentrated in the current exhibition is to introduce these seven vices not as sins but as natural desires and instincts. What has made these affairs to be grouped as sins, is over-valuing or over-neglecting from these desires. From Abel and Cain story to world wars and most of the incidents we see in media everyday, the causes mostly can be sought in excess of such valuing either one or some of these so-named-seven-sins.

On the other hand, negligence in paying attention to these desires can lead to serious problem not only for the person but also for the society. The people with such a wrong (mostly religious oriented) belief would try to ignore completely their desires. An effort with the hope of achieving a reward which is hoped to be hidden behind a closed door. A door which would be opened after the death. A reward maybe similar to what they have ignored in the whole life, and a struggle what would cause lots of mental and physical pressure for the person. The creation of Wahhabism and ISIS can be exampled for an obvious result of such a belief.

The reason that the current exhibition was named as “Aquarium Syndrome” is that from many perspectives aquarium is similar to human society. Aquarium fishes are directly or indirectly affected by the quality of other fishes’ health within the aquarium. Bacteria and pollution from a fish can lead to death for other fishes. An interesting fact about the aquarium fishes is that for being alive the bacteria in the aquarium need to be balanced. Otherwise they would die either due to the low level of bacteria, which leads to ammonia increase, or high amount of bacteria, which results in Nitrate increase. Moreover, they also need to keep their balance and buoyancy in water in order to swim well, by means of a so-called gas bladder organ. If the bladder does not function, the fish would hardly swim on one side or upside-down.

In human societies also desire plays the same crucial and vital role in permanence of human’s life. Desire not only makes human communicate in a society, but also it adjust the way people interact in the society. Desire is the explanation of the relation between “existence” and “need”, and “being” consequently.

This need is always with him/her in the whole life, as contrarily with other creatures that are equipped with their instinct, human is born with the least instincts. Such a need makes him dependent to others in society from the beginning of the life. Desire is the main motivation for communication with others to achieve one’s goals, and that’s why human should be loyal to his/her desires and keep it alive. Because it would guarantee the peace and goodness in life!

(TEHRAN, IRAN, 2016-2017)