Described as an anthropologist of the avant-garde, Michael Stevenson investigates the mythology that surrounds renowned and controversial events which have been significant in the spheres of both art and politics. Predominantly working with sculpture and installation, Stevenson looks for and pieces together relationships between the myth and the reality of these occurrences, which often seem unlikely yet invite a suspension of disbelief. Visitors to his exhibitions are left to negotiate the factual elements he has weaved together.
Persepolis 2530, his exhibition at Arnolfini, revisits the site of an infamous week-long party held in 1971 by the Shah of Iran amongst the ruins of the ancient Persian city of Persepolis. Reconstructing part of the temporary architecture built for the celebrations (itself now a ruin) Stevenson looks at this pivotal moment in Iranian history which led towards the subsequent cultural revolution.
With the kind assistance of Bristol’s Museums, Galleries & Archives.