Saffron Tears, Joan Goldfarb Visual Arts Study Centre, York University (Forthcoming)

This performance explores both the technique and poetry of Persian cuisine. In Saffron Tears, I extend notions of creativity by writing a book on grains of rice while also cooking rice within the exhibition as a way to symbolically represent the sacrifice inherent in female household duties. The audience will be given a glimpse into both the everyday lives and the near magical practices of women. In this work, I consider how the domestic lives of women act as another veil that hides them and their labor. Like a mother, a wife or a madar-bozorg-grandmother, I will simultaneously engage in the laborious task of preparing rice. Throughout the exhibition period, I will be working diligently with a microscope writing on individual grains. Once the written rice are ready it will be cooked and served to the audience.


Saffron is an important ingredient in many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. The act of picking saffron is both captivating and mechanical as it requires 70,0000 flowers to produce one kilogram. This endeavor is an almost magical process that is usually performed by women. By slowly writing an entire book onto thousands of grains of rice, which are then cooked and served, I pay homage to all the female ancestors who created joy out of routine practices. In order to document this process, I will set up a camera with a macro lens focused on the act of writing. Through an online portal, this task will be live streamed and projected on a wall in the gallery over the ten days of the performance. This fusion of Persian hospitality and modern technology will allow for a natural engagement between the artist and audience.

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