Nuría Marquès, Es Baluard Museum, Palma

Núria Bought a Mango Every Day

“The Orient and Orientals are considered as an ‘object’ of study, stamped with an otherness –as all that is different, whether it be ‘subject’ or ‘object’– but of a constitutive otherness, of an essentialist character […] This ‘object’ of study will be, as is customary, passive, non-participative, endowed worth ‘historical’ subjectivity, above all, non-active, non-autonomous, non-sovereign with regard to itself: the only Orient or Oriental or subject which could be admitted, at the extreme limit, is the alienated being, philosophically, that is, other than itself in relationship to itself, posed, understood, defined –and acted– by others”.

Edward Said[1]

Every day during the month of her residency in Tehran,[2] Núria Marquès bought a mango at a price that changed from one day to the next. She made note of where it came from, asking herself whether this might demonstrate that Iran was on good terms with its neighbours Afghanistan or Pakistan. If the price of a mango was higher the next day, would that inextricably mean that the relations were getting worse or improving? Núria Marquès deduced that relations with Qatar were surely of the friendliest, since the price of American cigarettes remained stable, and despite being anti-American they drank Coca-Cola, which could be purchased at the same price always, since it was produced in Iran.

Cécile Bourne-Farrell

This text has been commissioned for Nuría Marquès exhibition’s booklet titled 

“Tehran Spleen. Poetry in Prose”,  23/10/2020-28/02/2021 Es Baluard Museum, Palma, Mallorca

Text attached as follow in English and Spanish

[1] Said, Edward. “The Scope of Orientalism”. In: Orientalism. London: Penguin Books, 1978, p.96.

[2] From 1 to 31 July 2018.

Cécile Bourne Farrell | 10 Camden Square NW1 9UY London | T. 07949959726 | cecile.bourne@orange.fr