Saffron Tears, York University Gallery, Spring 2019 (Forthcoming)

This project is a performance piece that reflects the workings and poetics of the Persian cuisine. Cooking saffron rice is a creative art that can be interpreted as theatrics: trapped indoors the matriarchs of the khoone- pass their days simmering stews and cooking aromatic rice. I want to embody the concept of creation by writing guest's dreams in the exhibit. The props will include saffron ink and message will be written in any languages. Using myself in this performance piece symbolically represents the sacrificial element of household duties and chores. The stage will be set so that the audience can get a glimpse into the ordinary and magical practices that occur among these women; they are often able to make the impossible possible. For exhibition period, I will be working diligently at a desk, using a magnifying microscope for hours upon hours: simultaneously, a mother, a wife or a madar-bozorg-grandmother is in the process of performing her own laborious task. After all is complete I will announce that it’s time to serve the audience. 


Saffron is an important ingredient that is often used in many dishes specially Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. The act of picking saffron--both captivating and mechanical--requires 70,0000 flowers to produce one kilogram. The fruition of this endeavour is a magical process and is often performed by women. Therefore, by sitting at a desk, and slowly writing poetry on massive amounts of rice, cooking and serving, I am paying homage to all the female ancestors whose journey consists of creating joy out of routine and ordinary practices. In order to convey this impression, I will set up a camera with a micro lens and focus writing poetry on each grain of rice. Using an online portal, this task will be transferred to project a live streaming of my mechanical workings on the wall. The audience will have a chance to view my performance piece for ten days. An installation that incorporates aspects of Persian hospitality: cooking, working for the family, along with the fusion of modern technology, will allow for a natural engagement between the artist and an audience. Art has the capacity to break down barriers and open up conversations on cultures that are foreign to the Western eye.

  ···  
  ···  
  ···  
  ···  
Using Format