In the Louise District of Brussels, in the esplanade “Between two doors” – that is found on Toison d’Or Avenue – the monumental exhibit was on display between April and June of 2010. The space that was originally given for the sculptures was little more than an empty plot of land in the chic heart of the city. The sculptor decided to utilize public space and, in coordination with the architect Hector Velázquez, he settled for a vivid sand mandala, small cosmic space on top of which a scaffold was placed to position the giants towards the Palace of Justice, located one block from there. While the work was hastily being done, in faraway Iran students and university professors were victims of religious fanaticism and State terrorism: dead girls and boys, disappeared, jailed or beaten for expressing their thoughts. Repression claimed to have silenced the dissident voices of the regime in the academic realm, and tainted the centers of knowledge by imposing silence. In Brussels, capital of Europe, there were those who shyly spoke up to denounce and condemn the incidents, but generally this happened in the face of people’s indifference. The repeated attack on the freedom of expression adopted in Europe a different expression to the brutal face of Iran: one of total apathy, haloed by a certain distant politeness by the few people that paid some attention to the events. Facing impotence and hatred for what happened in their country, a group of Iranians – accompanied by some Europeans in solidarity – decided to protest their indignation, not by shouting in front of the European Parliament, but by silencing it – with their lips sealed with tape – around Rivelino’s monumental sculptures.
They were right: the fierce savagery suffered by their compatriots, forced to veil their word, was the kind that has always fed off our silences with its venom.