‘CHECKMATE’ by mohammad hassan namdari

‘checkmate’ by mohammad hassan namdari

After imagining what Iran’s ancient legacy would look like on Mars, artist Mohammad Hassan Namdari now visualizes, through surreal photomontages, what happened in the final days of the Achaemenid dynasty – also known as the First Persian Empire. Titled “CHECKMATE”, this project introduces chess pieces into images of Achaemenid architecture, showing how the rise and fall of empires throughout history can be easily interpreted as a game of victory and defeat between players.
private palace, historical complex of Pasargad – Pasargad, Iran

reinvent the victories and defeats of the empire as a game of chess

To compose his works, Namdari (see more here) used images showing the stunning remains of historic sites in Pasargad and Persepolis, now Shiraz. These include the ruins of Tachar Palace, Cyrus’ Reception Palace, the All-Nation Gate and the Throne Hall – which apparently coexist with white and black chess pieces recolored to suit the old context.

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Persepolis, Marvdasht, Iran

Explaining the concept behind ‘CHECKMATE‘, Namdari comments: ‘History has always been iterated over and over like a game, where victories belong to those who learn from past experiences and never give up. This project attempts to imagine a new understanding of historical heritage remains through this lens. For example, Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, is known as one of the most valuable and greatest civilizations in the history of Iran, which finally surrendered to the game of its time.

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Tachar Palace ruins in Persepolis

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