Lo’bat is an installation comprised of narrative text, roses, locks of hair, and a jellyfish-like robot that responds to the presence of viewers. Lo’bat is a Farsi word that loosely translates to “puppet,” taken from a poem by the eleventh-century Persian mathematician and poet Omar Khayyam.

The installation emerged from the artists’ unique process of inviting others to contribute freely to an artwork. Fabric was given to a women’s group in Tehran that works with Afghan migrants who learn embroidery to support themselves and their families. The women offered to share personal stories of anxiety and fear, embroidering representative images into the textile, while a Catalonian puppeteer and an Italian set designer worked in tandem to program a mechanical choreography that responds to the presence and movement of viewers.

With the participation of: Maryam Abasspour, Niyaz Azadikhah (with the Goharaneh Institution), Zahra Bagheri, Joan Baixas, John Cole, Francesco Fassone, Mehrdokht Jamali, Hoda Keshavarz, Mobina Khanzadeh, Roberto Luttino, Afsane Norouzi, Fardina Norouzi, Mahbube Ramezani, Fariba Tajik, Parastou Tajik, Sara Tousi, Farzaneh Zahrayi, and Azam Zoghi. With special thanks to Spazio Kor, Asti, Italy.

Originally commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation (2017). Current iteration commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art (2019).


Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh (both born in Tehran, Iran; both live in Dubai, UAE), and Hesam Rahmanian (born in Knoxville, TN, USA; lives in Dubai, UAE), have been working and living in self-imposed exile in Dubai since 2009. The seeds of their language were sown as early as 1999, back in Iran. Their practice offers up a novel redefinition of the collective, as theirs is constantly growing and contracting to incorporate friends, writers, and artists at large. For the past ten years, they have lived through a self-designed discipline, defining strategies of object-making and naming their own terms for their approach.


  • Accessibility

    259 Lake Shore Blvd East

    Accessible entrance and washrooms
    AODA compliant building
    Accessible parking

  • Getting There

    259 Lake Shore Blvd East

    By Public Transportation: The TTC offers three bus routes – the 6, 72, and 75 – within a short walking distance of 259 Lakeshore Blvd.

    By Car:

    • Coming from the West: Follow Gardiner Expressway E to the Jarvis Street exit. Keep right and follow the signs for Lake Shore Blvd E eastbound. Turn right onto Lower Sherbourne Street, then left onto Queens Quay E, where the destination is on the left.
    • Coming from the East:Take Lake Shore Blvd E eastbound towards the downtown core. Turn left onto Parliament St, and continue onto Queens Quay E, where the destination is on the right.