Pezhman Zahed “Blowback”





In 1908, seven years after signing of the D’Arcy concession, the exploration group eventually found oil in commercial quantity in Masjed-Suleiman, Southern Persia. ‘So began the industry, that was to see the Royal Navy through two world wars, and to cause Persia more trouble than all the political maneuverings of the great powers put together.’(L.P. Elwell- Sutton, historian)

The project looks back at the financial records of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) prior to the nationalization of oil industry in Iran, which led to the overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in a CIA/MI6-backed coup d’état, coded Operation Ajax.

The growing anti-western sentiment stemmed from five decades of struggle with the Anglo- Iranian Oil Company and the reluctant involvement in two world wars, followed by a plot to topple the undoubtedly most popular government in Iranian contemporary history, resulted in an outburst, which showed itself in form of 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The photographs demonstrate excited fluids under the effect of sound waves with particular frequencies. The figures used to generate the frequencies correspond to the company’s net profits, royalties to Iran and (if applicable) British taxes, in nine most critical years of the company’s forty-two year-long activity in Iran prior to the nationalization.

Accompanying the photographs are excerpts from declassified documents and found images related to the events immediately before and after Operation Ajax.