The art project - RollWest
On foot with a gym wheel from Aachen to Washington DC
My name is Shahin Tivay Sadatolhosseini. For 35 years I live in Aachen/Germany as an artist, photographer, gym wheel acrobat and choreographer. Already during my early childhood in Iran I was an enthusiastic gymnast. In 1985 my mom fled with me and my brother from the Iran-Iraq-war to Germany.  Shortly after my arrival in Aachen I encountered the gym wheel and was instantly fascinated by the elegant unity of acrobatics, dance and beauty. Since then I represented Iran at world championships, coached many years gym wheel acrobats and choreographed shows. The gym wheel accompanies me in my life not only as my piece of sports equipment; it rather became for a long period of time my anchor of my identity as an Aachener and a constant source of inspiration for my professional activities as an artist. 
After I realized the art project RollEast in 2015-17, it is now time to close the circle and depart to the West. I will walk with my gym wheel from Aachen/Germany to Washington DC.

On March 20th 2020, the day of the Persian New Year and the International Day of Happiness my art project RollWest was supposed to start. But it was the time of the first Covid 19-lockdown in Europe, and I had to postpone my departure. My current plan is to start on March 20th 2021 – in case Corona may allow it. I will walk from Aachen in the border triangle Germany-Belgium-Netherlands through the Netherlands to Den Haag. There I intend to board a sailing ship and sail via the Northern route to Boston. From there I will roll my gym wheel to Washington DC.


As such I will connect my country of origin, Iran, with its supposedly biggest enemy, the US. The wheel will serve as my pack mule, my power house, my snail shell, my platform for the camera and many more things. Every day I will image or film places and people I meet with my gym wheel. The exotic piece of sports equipment will easily and quickly lead to a wide variety of encounters – as it already did during my first art project RollEast. I am particularly interested in the direct talks with individuals because it is this type of talks that helps to overcome prejudices or revise one’s opinion on the urgent topics of our time.


The circle is the central element of my activities as an artist and symbolizes repeating cycles such as night-and-day-cycle, the cycle of seasons but also recurring moves and closing circles. One of the most important inventions of humankind is shaped as a circle as well: the wheel.