Exhibition and Performance of “The Homeling” by Aphrodite Désirée navab – Thurs, 4/5/12

Aphrodite Désirée Navab is an artist based in New York City of Iranian and Greek descent. Her performance art series: Super East-West Woman (ongoing since 2002) is motivated by a strategy of using humor and her own body for political and cultural critique. The concept was born in 2002 after former President George W. Bush branded Iran as one of the three nations comprising an “axis of evil.” It reminded her of the Islamic revolution in 1978-79 when Iran’s new leaders labeled the United States as the country of the “Great Satan.” Growing up in the USA, Navab was destined to critique the nations and cultures that inhabit her identity and who are so bent on vilifying each other.
Navab took her chador and turned it into a cape. The Superman figure of popular Western culture is transformed into a Superwoman whose chador turns into a cape of agency. She pokes fun at herself, her cultures, and the ludicrous situations in which her life, between East and West, has placed her. Cultural displacement has not left her incapacitated; rather, it has given her the capacity to live out her healing vision. Armored with her Persian amulets and Greek anti-evil eye bracelets, Super East-West Woman hopes to chase away the evil for which each nation blames the other.

Her commissioned performance for Shahrzad gallery at 8 pm on April 5th, 2012 at Theaterlab: 137 W 14th St, NYC is a continuation of her Super East-West Woman series: “The Homeling.” Homeling was her Greek grandmother Efigenia’s pronunciation for homeless. Neither homeless nor at home, homeling captures both the horror and the rapture, in re-locating home and world.

Navab invites us to imagine a ‘third space’ of working, contesting and reconstructing, allowing other positions to emerge–a space of transnational and cross-cultural initiations.

Event info can be found here.

Norooz Celebration! Mar. 22 | 7pm | Brooklyn, NY

Bowery Arts + Science and City Lore in collaboration with
Persian Arts Festival Present:

Norooz Celebration
Thurs, March 22nd
7 – 11 pm

VII Gallery | 28 Jay Street | DUMBO Brooklyn

Bowery Arts + Science, City Lore and the PAF ring in the Persian New Year in DUMBO, with contemporary literary and musical performances that will delight all ages and backgrounds. Come together and celebrate the wealth and beauty of Persian art and culture!

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Multi-media performances by poets on the subjects of life, death, homeland and love. Poets include Roger Sedarat, Sara Goudarzi, Amir Parsa and Kaveh Bassiri. Poems will be projected in Persian morphing into English translations from the roof of the POEMobile, a hand-painted truck and traveling cinema of words, onto DUMBO’s buildings and streets surrounding VII Gallery!

Film viewing of Niloufar Talebi’s The Persian Rite of Spring: the story of Nowruz
Clips  available for viewing here.

Musical performance by Middle East-meets-Brooklyn band, Vatan.

Performance Art – Iranian Greek American conceptual artist, Aphrodite Desiree Navab will perform “The Metamorph.” Materials: artist’s body, chador, mat, Scarlatti sonata in F minor K 466, haftsin.

Bowery Arts + Science, Ltd. is grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for its New York City Cultural Innovation Fund award.


PAF thanks this year’s music performance sponsor: Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)

Other promotional sponsors include New York University Persian Club, Persian Mirror, Columbia Iranian Students Association, Shabeh Jomeh, Network of Iranian Professionals of New York (NIPONY), Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW), Oznoz Entertainment.

About Persian Arts Festival:

Founded in 2005, the Persian Arts Festival (PAF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to showcasing the magnificence and diversity of Persian art and culture through its voices, artists and visionaries. PAF brings local and global communities together to support these artists and explore one of the world’s most ancient and rich civilizations. The festival gives audiences of all ages and traditions the chance to discover new Persian voices and celebrate established ones. Areas represented at previous events have included fine art, music, film, comedy, family activities and literary.

The Persian Arts Festival is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). NYFA is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines.

About the POEMobile:

This performance is one in a series of poetry events composing A White Wing Brushing the Building, a Bowery Arts + Science and City Lore project highlighting the poetry of New York City’s ethnic communities and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Grant. The project will focus on the poetry of 8 cultural communities in New York in 2011 and 8 in 2012, with the majority of the events happening during the summer. The titular “white wing” is taken from a poem by Martín Espada and refers to the projections of the poems that are integral part of the project as well as the live poetry readings which will happen in each of the communities.

To date, White Wing has hosted projections and poetry performances in the languages of the Lower East Side (Yiddish, Ukrainian, Spanish, and Cantonese) at the New Museum’s Festival of New Ideas and new work by Native American poets at the American Indian Community House and by Greek at Federation of Hellenic Societies in Astoria. Additional 2011collaborating communities included Mexican, Haitian, and Nuyorican; the POEMobile also appeared at the 2011 Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival. The events are stand alone programs but unified by the common elements of the poetry projections, which will reach the city’s neighborhoods—its storefronts, its basketball courts, its warehouse walls—from the POEMobile.

“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.