Me series (selection)
Ghazel was born in Teheran in 1966. She studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Nîmes and the Paul Valéry University in Montpellier. She currently lives in Paris. She is famous all over the world for her performances, video pieces and installations focusing on migration and the awareness of self and other. Her work also centres around the state of being ‘in-between’ two cultures and nomadic existence. In her most well-known work, the Me series, she is able to combine the ways traditional female gender roles are regarded and assigned in her home country of Iran with a Eurocentric view on the women of this primarily Muslim country — a view she experienced in Western Europe.
In the series of performances entitled Me, the artist can be seen engaging in diverse sports and leisure activities, such as ice skating, boxing, skiing and sunbathing, while wearing a traditional chador. She thereby contrasts the physical mobility of actions carried out in public space associated with the (Western) cult of the body with the other extreme of the limited physical mobility of wearing a chador and the underlying, religiously motivated (Eastern) concepts of concealing the female body from public view. Ghazel regards these performances as self-portraits, in which she uses irony to depict herself as a person absurdly torn between two cultures.