This episode is a sneak preview for next show of Fem Poem with guest Kamran Behrouz who is a Visual Artist, born and raised in Tehran, currently working and living in Zurich. Their PhD, entitled ‘Cosmopolitics of the Body’, uses posthuman critical theory as a navigational tool to examine the boundaries of bodies and humanity’s embedded and embodied cultures. They work with multiple medias, and combines the act of painting with animation, installations, costumes, and (virtual)performance. Their works deal with ‘politics of location’ in association with Cosmopolitics. Kamran saturates the Queer Identity throughout their art, in order to draw a cartography of belonging and displacement. Politics of image center their visual practices, transfigured in their theoretical works, as cultural translations, coding and textual trafficking. Kamran’s latest research is related to the translation of queer-feminist texts such Sara Ahmed’s latest essay into Persian language (a language that does not register gender), and immersive art as a form of knowledge production/distribution.
‘Breathe’ is the name of their Motion Capture avatar —aesthetically related to the concept of “body without organs”—designed as part of their PhD research entitled ‘cosmopolitics of the body’. This research deals with the performativity of queer/trans/nonbinary bodies in exile, diaspora and refugee camps.
The performance lecture Phenomenology of the Third Body reflects on the creation of this avatar as part of this research. It poses several philosophical and psychoanalytical questions in relation to the performative role of VR and MoCap avatars in queer-feminist activism and art today.
The main part of this research deals with the notion of Untranslatability: for instance, the lack of sufficiently precise words to address transgender or queer people in Persian language. In this experiment the avatar realized as a new form of (alphabetic) coding language. It is considered as a third body for political intervention in order to distribute and perform the translation of those linguistic and cultural lacks which otherwise won’t get permission to be published and expressed in Iran. In fact, the avatar is an instrument to multiply, conceal and protect the identity of the performer.
The perfomance lecture took place on Thursday, October 17th 2019, at the Helmhaus in Zürich.