belfast oppressed - In this performance session, all the participants were performers/spect-actors. The aim was not to focus on performing for a secondary audience, but rather on trying to see how the performers/participants can be affected by what they do, see, hear, and feel. During my residency in Belfast, I tried to understand the complex history and culture of Northern Ireland through various conversations that I had with the locals. These moments were the physical embodiments of my two weeks there.
alive & unborn - This theatrical performance was made in collaboration with Daphnis Monastirioti. Together with Siamak Misheni, they created sound pieces based on the text and gave shape to the sonic portrayal of the work. The performance is based abstractly on my master thesis 'Performing the Art of Intolerance' and influenced by 'Pedagogy of Oppressed' by Paulo Freire. The storyline is familiar. Humans are stuck in the oppressive mechanistic rhythms of a world of commerce where the love of death and violence is greater than the love of life. Is Hope the only thing that keeps us alive?
alive & unborn (trailer)
one day is too short, three days are too long - 20 March 2022 RE: Employment Verification for Pharaz Azimi, Rebecca Levy, Anneliese Greve, Omid Kheirabadi, and Maja Simisic To Whom It May Concern, This letter confirms that Pharaz Azimi, Rebecca Levy, Anneliese Greve, Omid Kheirabadi, and Maja Simisic have employed themselves to be part of this group exhibition on a part-time basis as Performance Artists. They agreed upon a confidential Agreement to perform only two days in the Nest Art Space with an address of De Constant Rebecqueplein 20b, 2518 RA, The Hague, The Netherlands on the 8th and 10th of April 2022 because one day is too short and three days are too long. They have no wages from this job, but they might receive some recognition in the local art scene. That could help them to position themselves as 'successful' art workers. The outlook for the future of their self-exploitment is promising, and we hope to have them as active as possible in the art world for many more years to come. Please feel free to contact us if you need additional information or verification. Sincerely, Pharaz Azimi Rebecca Levy Anneliese Greve Omid Kheirabadi Maja Simisic
eating art - I guess I was trying to push my idea at that time that if an artist works in KFC, then his/her/their artwork is the chickens and his/her/their clothes art. Besides the installation which was made possible thanks to my kind friend in KFC MArconiplein Rotterdam, I could perform eating in the gallery space when we talked art, politics, and culture. At the end of the exhibition, I tried to sell all the pieces performatively to representatives of fast food branches, and art institutions.
I’m free as a bird “prints” - In a series of screen prints, I tried to give shape to a randomly shot frame of the performance "I'm free as a bird". This is another layer of the work that adds to my understanding of the complex systems of capital and exploitation of laborers in relation to the art world and its methods of self-exploitation.
i’m free as a bird - This performance helped me to position myself as an artist and an ordinary wage laborer in the context of a neoliberal society. At the time I was a student at the art academy, and had to pay the tuition fees without any support, what happened next led to the creation of this project; an artist who spend most of his/her/their time working in a seemingly irrelevant minimum wage job, their creation as an artist and as a worker gets mixed up and at some point non-separable. 'i'm free as a bird' is one way representing all of us, everyone who breathes under a neoliberal regime.
you only exist on paper - Dear Sir / Madam, I hereby inform you that after entering this corridor you would be part of the discriminatory regime of the Dutch Government. We Proudly invite to be on the side of the oppressor, or as we put it, the 'safe side'. Step on the projected image of these potential threats to our democracy and flourish under the regime of debt and credit. Yours sincerely, The State Secretary for Justice and Security. This letter has been sent automatically, therefore there is no signature underneath.
a tough soldier - I served 19 months in the Iranian army in the artillery forces in Tehran, I worked for 19 months in McDonald's Wyck in Maastricht. McDonald's was the only place in Maastricht which got me a work permit to work as a “foreigner”. The installation built-out of fries boxes collected from McDonald's was then an abstract reflection on the similarities of these two oppressive mechanisms, one in the Iranian army and the other in a 'free' liberal country as The Netherlands. https://www.omidkheirabadi.com/a-tough-soldier
spend the night with me - In this durational performance, I spent 11 hours between dusk till dawn with a stranger, during the lock-down in April 2022. We promised each other to enter the 'realm of unfilteredness'* in our conversation. For this work, I collaborated with someone who I met accidentally on a dating app. From isolation, we were looking for a way to explore relational aesthetic work in a new way, in the spirit of our time. During the whole night, we kept our 1.5 meters and after the sunrise, we returned home.
*the term “unfilteredness” is based on Jan Verwoert's writing