This project raises the issue of state violence conducted in the public sphere, something all contemporary Iranians have experienced in varying degrees. Justified, valorized, and institutionalized by Iranian political and religious authorities, violence thus has become a conventional, formulaic, and ‘normal’ phenomenon, whose devastating, real and psychological sequels have often had the desired disciplinary effect.
In this work, I, as a citizen-artist who socio-psychologically is the result of such a system, tried to push my limits and experimentally place myself within an extremely uncomfortable and disorienting situation to examine whether I would be capable of such an act of violence. Stepping into a full vulnerability, paradoxically, this time as the subject, the scene became a zone of indiscernibility: the suffering animal becomes me, and I who suffers become the animal—the reality of becoming. This questions our settled assumptions about who we might be as humans and what we might be capable of.
Video-documentation of performance, approx. 5 min., loop