Hermaphrodite, A Performance Art Piece by Désirée Navab and Chervine Dalaeli

hermaphroditeposterCollaboration of Aphrodite Désirée Navab and Chervine Dalaeli
Saturday, June 12th, 7-9 pm
ZORASPACE 315 4th Avenue b/w 3rd & 2nd St in Park Slope, Brooklyn

In this collaboration, Aphrodite Désirée Navab and Chervine Dalaeli, artists who are from Iran and based in NYC, explore the gender stereotypes and pressures of Iranian patriarchal culture. Chervine photographs Aphrodite as she transforms herself into a Hermaphrodite, wearing a traditional shalwar chemise, mustache and turban and follows her as she interacts with the public for several weeks. For the event at Zoraspace, Hermaphrodite will perform the exclusively male Persian ritualized exercise tradition called Zurkhaneh, “house of strength”.

Hermaphrodite 2010 critiques gender expectations at the same time that it is a metaphor for the condition of exile, neither here nor there, but both, neither Iranian nor American, but both. To be ‘unhomed’, as cultural studies theorist Homi Bhabha puts it, does not mean that Hermaphrodite is ‘homeless’. Nor does it mean that s/he can be accommodated easily. By occupying two places at once, Hermaphrodite is a hybrid who becomes difficult to place. It is within this ‘third space’ of working, contesting and reconstructing that hermaphrodite creates an opening for other positions to emerge. Hermaphrodite’s performances and the resulting photographs and videos from these interventions allow for a space of ‘unhomeliness’–a space of trans-national and cross-cultural initiations.

“She Speaks Greek Farsi” Opening Reception – by Aphrodite Desiree Navab


Thursday, February 4, 2010
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Soho20 Chelsea Gallery: 547 W 27th St., Suite 301, NYC

Soho20 Chelsea is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Aphrodite Désirée Navab (b. 1971, Iran). She Speaks Greek Farsi opens with a reception for the artist on Thursday, February 4, 2010 from 6-8 pm and will be on view until February 27th.

In this photographic performance series, Navab’s abdomen serves as the site of performing language. An expression in Greek, to speak any language in a “Farsi way”, is a comment on how fluent and well someone speaks that language. So to speak “Greek Farsi” or “English Farsi” is to speak Greek or English well.

From the concrete world of her embodied experience, language is abstracted. At once personal and universal, private and public, Navab writes words on her skin from the flesh of her own tri-cultural heritage. Words whose meanings, however, hold great potency for anyone who has had to relocate and emigrate: family, place, language, love, friend, birth, land, home, person, history, life, memory, body, self, and world. These fifteen concepts were chosen as the most re-defined issues in her life’s transitions and translations from Iran, to Greece, to the United States of America. Navab writes and erases on her belly, building a memory of marks, and ritually re-enacting the erasure and the re-membering brought on by forced migration.

“Call Me Anar”, a Performance Art Piece by Aphrodite Desiree Navab


Thursday, November 19, 7pm

Location: SOHO20 Gallery Chelsea / Gallery Call Me

Aphrodite Desiree Navab

Call Me Anar (Pomegranate)


Anar (Pomegranate), a performance by Aphrodite Désirée Navab with one pomegranate, one carpet, one tale, and a chorus of three pale males.

The Tale: “Call me Anar,” she said. “Someone there was. Someone there wasn’t.” It took her twenty years to swallow, fester, brood, to spit. These. Words. Out. One by one, the chewed seeds of a pomegranate fell. “This was my man the parasite. And this was my one who lied. And this one knewnot what he wanted. And this one searched for himself in others…But I loved, how I loved all of them.”

Aphrodite Désirée Navab (b. Iran, 1971) is an Iranian Greek American artist and writer who resides in New York City. Her art has been featured in over eighty exhibitions around the world and is includedin a number of permanent collections. She will have a solo show in Athens, Greece in September and is currently in a retrospective of the Lowe Art Museum’s photography collection in Miami.