A Performance for a Nazr, A Nazr for a Performance
In Jinoos Taghizadeh’s (*1971, Iran) videos, performances, installations and two-dimensional work, she often focuses on the rules of Iranian society, which she continually breaks. She is also concerned with the forgotten aspects of Iranian history and questions of sexual identity and female gender roles. Born in Teheran in 1971, Taghizadeh began her artistic career already in 1984 primarily as a painter. She worked from 1987 to 1992 mostly in stage and costume design, graphic design, puppet theatre and children’s book illustrations. She earned a Diploma in Dramatic Literature from the Niavaran Cultural Center in Teheran, a Diploma in Pottery from the Cultural Heritage Foundation in Teheran, both in 1992, and a BA in Sculpture at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran in 2000.
A ‘nazr’ is a ritual consisting of a pledge to God followed by a gift or donation. The artist staged such a ritual by first selling an article of value, then buying one hundred kilos of pears with this profit before finally placing the pears on a linen cloth in front of the entrance of the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque in Esfahan. The people passing accepted her gift, and within a few minutes the pears were gone. In accordance with the customs of the ritual, the intention of the nazr — the content of the pledge — remained a secret. But this nazr, which was conducted as a performance in a public space, differs from the usual ritual forms because first the action is celebrated publicly on a linen cloth, and second because the pears hold an erotic subtext as a sign of femininity, corporeality, sexuality and fertility. The video documents the ritual’s preparations filmed in colour and shows the ritual’s progression in a black-and-white slide show.
Courtesy Jinoos Taghizadeh & Aaran Gallery, Teheran