We placed the silence of drowning bottles
Over your foreheads
so you’d be raised after death
in your backpacks.
I stilled and sat down
On my ears and heart
On that day
Between the Earth and abyss
Poetry With Stone
Duration approx. 30 minutes
I performed Party Balloons (2016) on 6 Nov 2016 during UKYA National Art Festival in Derby. This live action was based on revisiting the narrative of the first iteration of Party Balloons (2015). Nevertheless, I incorporated new materials such as two flat mirrors and my bought mannequin; Matilda. This work further examines the relationship with the performer and the spectator via the dynamics of their gaze.
In this performance, I had taped a flat mirror to my back prior to the live action. Then I wore Matilda’s torso as a backpack and taped its head to my own. I then sat in front of a mirror with my back to the spectators. The quasi process of bomb-making and the metamorphosis of my body took place in an intimate space between the two mirrors. They enabled the spectators to witness the performance with their own but indirect gaze.
From Left to Right; Sealed with Kisses, Paid in Blood
This performance incorporates a painting that I had finished and left in a plastic wrapping at the bottom of my cupboard in 2013. This painting originally intended to map a series of chronological auto-writing monologues with myself following encountering several traumatic experiences in 2012-2013. The text is in Farsi and its direction is from right to left and from top to bottom of the canvas. The matterials used are blood and charcoal.
After re-stretching the canvas in 2016, I noticed that the painting can also be seen from the other side of the canvas in the presence of a strong light source with all the words flipped.
Front of the painting
Back of the painting
View from an installation of the work during UKYA National Art Festival 2016, Derby.
The Only Poem I Know to Hold in Blenheim Palace
On 19 December 2015 I travelled from South West London to Oxford to perform The Only Poem I know to Hold in Blenheim Palace (2015) during my visit of Blenheim Palace. This visit intentionally coincided with Lawrence Weiner’s show at the palace; Within the Realm of Distance.
For the duration of 42 minutes, I walked inside this semi-public site and visually displaced the palace’s architecture as well as the Churchills’ memoirs, using a DSLR camera and a mirror. This performance was the first time I used a mirror in conjunction with a camera in my live actions. During the performance I spontaneously decided to hum gently parts of Doublet no.3 (2015) from my memory.
My intention during The Only Poem I Know to Hold in Blenheim Palace (2016) was to challenge the palace’s Genius-loci and its architecture, which is inextricably linked to the preservation of the status of British aristocracy and memory of its imperialist past. Throughout this walk, my camera also records how I am being variously identified by other visitors as an artist, a tourist, and a potential threat.
Link to Doublet no.3 (2015).
Ceiling the Veiling
Duration approx. 30 minutes
I performed Ceiling the Veiling on 15 October 2016 as part of RAZZMATAZZ 3: Performing Borders. This was an exhibition that Dagmar Glausnitzser-Smith, Panicattack Duo, and I co-curated at The Museum of Futures, Surbiton, London.
The narrative of this performance consists of wearing my mannequin Matilda as a backpack, and walking amongst the spectators from a room on the ground floor to the basement of the Museum. In the basement, I unpacked the contents of my backpack, and underwent a metamorphosis by wearing a veil and placing Matilda in front of my body. My aim was to become an un-easily gendered entity. After this self-transformation, I began to sing my appropriation of Maddahi from behind the veil.
The content of my singing was based on my spontaneous observations from the site of the performance.
Ceiling the Veiling (2016) uses a veil as an ‘armour against the gaze’ of the spectators. By doing so, the veil operates as a means of separation, splitting the site of the performance into two areas; private and public .
Stills from the performance
In the land of borderlands ,
We were all the other, until separated by this slight change,
that was the first of an endless series, beginning from the ceiling that
extended above my feet and yours.
With my right foot, I’m maintaining the weight of You’
and concealing my celling-related shame with a white sheet.
It is only then that S/He descends from the staircase.
and the scissors blessed every single one of them. .
Every time the scissors touched and pointed to the skin,
it reminded S/He of unveiling.
They took me to the underground,
where I met
their stares at the birth and dissipation of spoons
and words from the backpack
in the fluxes of time.
Then the veil was placed.
S/He allowed me to place it (You) in front of . myself.
There was an invisible line between my self and me.
Behind the veil,
S/He was powerful and
was who I always dreamt of becoming.
Their gaze could not penetrate my skin or eyes anymore.
You hid my every single attempt
to discover the self
in the eyes of You or the other.
S/He looked at above
see what was
in front of my feet
With my back against the mirror, I felt
a very strong sensation of security
And then I began to sing the song of my blood; something
of uncertainty with
graceful hints of expectancy.
What shall I assume to your name? You,
against my skins,
are observing the battle of the veils.
Stills from the performance