Collaboration 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.