Reading Area

The Reading Area features Slavs and Tatars’ Dear 1979, Meet 1989, an archive of books and printed matter on Poland’s Solidarność and the Iranian Revolution. The archive may be read while lounging on a takht (a ‘bed’ or ‘river-bed’ in honor of its ideal location by a source of water), as a place to sit, talk, and read collectively.

Takhts are often found at tea-houses (chai-khânehs), roadside kiosks, shrines, entrances to mosques and restaurants across Iran and Central Asia, and may accommodate a group of roughly four or five people.

On various rahlés, book stands traditionally used for holy books such as the Qu’ran, one may trace the story of two countries’ attempts at self-determination via two major moments – 1979 and 1989 – that served as bookends to the major geopolitical narratives of the twenty-first and twentieth-centuries, political Islam and Communism, respectively.

Originally commissioned by Book Works and Eastside Projects.