Born and raised in France, Yashar Azar Emdadian has lived in Iran since 2013. His art draws on the tension between the cultures of his two homelands, exploring themes of identity, immigration, and paranoia. In this video performance, he stands on a Persian carpet — a family heirloom — in the garden of the Tuileries Palace in Paris and shaves his body hair. Two world views clash in this transgressively intimate act performed in a public space: the rational perspectives of architecture from the European Enlightenment and the floating nostalgia of the traveler’s carpet. The artist’s body becomes the boundary between a migrant’s molting of his personal identity and his integration into another culture. A subtext may read differently depending on perspective: the removal of body hair suggests a process of Westernization, but it may also refer to a Muslim rite of purification before pilgrimage.
- Installation Views
Born in Paris to an Iranian family, Yashar Azar Emdadian grew up immersed in art. In addition to formal studies in various art-making techniques, he benefited from the influence of his father, an award-winning painter. Based in Iran since 2013, Emdadian makes art that considers the culture and experiences that feed our sense of identity.