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An ancient windcatcher becomes a hypnotic device in this new installation

Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari made a space for contemplation with their interpretation of an ancient Iranian windcatcher.

Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari's interpretation of an Iranian windcatcher makes a space for contemplation

(CBC Arts)

A bâdgir is a system for cooling air, traditionally used in the hot temperatures of Iran. And this summer, artists Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari revived the form and transplanted it to the considerably cooler shore of Lake Ontario for an exhibition called The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea.

The show (which our senior writer Leah Collins brought to you last week) focused our attention on the power and fragility of nature. Filmmakers Istoica were there to take a closer look.

Watch the video:

Artists Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson have created a magical contemporary version of an ancient Iranian windcatcher or bâdgir. 3:19

In their 24-foot-tall sculpture called Observatory for Riparian Repose, viewers get to both experience the effects of a bâdgir which channels wind down its centre to offer relief from the blistering sun — and take a moment to reflect in the peaceful space around the monument. Looking at the patterns the wind creates in the pool of water at the tower's base, Kalmenson says, "I feel like I'm in an eternally lazy summer day, here right now with a beautiful pattern dancing on your face."

The Work of Wind was only in Mississauga, Ontario for a short time, but you can take a look at some of the other works that made up this exhibition here and here.

(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)

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