The latest Download commission, by Sheida Soleimani, laments the death of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was convicted and hanged in Iran on October 25, 2014 for the alleged murder of her rapist. to oblivion.zip, a dirge-like work that eulogizes Jabbari’s untimely death, consists almost entirely of Jabbari’s own written and spoken words. Once expanded, the ZIP file presents a multi-layered work of nested folders that contain execution records, letters, photographs, and voice recordings. Soleimani has been creating photographic and sculptural works focused on human rights violations in Iran since 2015. This is the first time that she has used a digital download to publish her work.

Deep within to oblivion.zip, Soleimani buries two high-resolution photographic works; they pay homage to both Jabbari and her mother, Sholeh Pakravan. As proxies, the photographs stand in for absent bodies — one dead, the other living but unable to escape her loss. Since Jabbari’s execution, Pakravan has devoted herself to amplifying the story leading to her daughter’s death. On YouTube, a filmed recording shows Pakravan mourning in public, addressing a framed photograph of her daughter. In another video, on the day after Jabbari’s execution, Pakravan shouts, “Happy birthday, Reyhaneh! You’re now comfortable, my child” to onlookers in the street. One year later, dressed in black, she commemorates the traumatic event with other women in the streets of Tehran, pleading for the story to be discussed. She says, “When you are in line at the bakery to get your bread, speak about torture and execution, because it must be talked about.” Because of Pakravan’s efforts, the story of Jabbari is fairly well-known, and its details can easily be found online. Executions of women in Iran receive little or no media attention; information is suppressed, and their stories simply disappear. Soleimani names and shows images of nine other women within to oblivion.zip, as well as (incomplete) execution records…

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