Beans, lentils, spinach, noodles, dried mint, garlic, onion . . . Ash-e Reshteh is a traditional Iranian stew that is served at religious ceremonies, among other things, and is usually geometrically ornamentally decorated. Ash-e Reshteh was at the centre of a performance in the Mohsen Gallery in Teheran: the stew was served by being poured into a specially made receptacle in front of the visitors to the gallery, but the garnish—consisting of yoghurt dressing, fried mint, fried onion and garlic—did not follow local custom, but imported Jackson Pollock’s gesturally expressive painting style, which today is regarded as the epitome of an American “success art”. With bowls and spoons, visitors were invited by the gallery owner and his staff to eat the stew or work of art—a comparison of cultural ceremonies such as performances and vernissages with religious ceremonies and their rituals is legitimate.Photography by Farshid Nasrabadi.