Only & Only If You Stare at my hands

Filming by Jakub Bobrowski, Laura Leif
Presented in Third Space Gallery, Helsinki, 2017 and Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, 2018
Thing (-ing) Collection

Only & Only If You Stare at My Hands is an object-oriented performance in which on the one hand, I explore the performative aspects of a designed object in terms of functionality and aesthetics and on the other hand, I practice two positive moral characteristics of caring and generosity, that need to be strengthened in me.

The object I perform with is made out of Alder wood, bronze, and felt. In this performance, I sit on the floor among my audiences and hold the object in front of me. There is a paper bag next to me full of different kinds of vegetables. I take for instance, a leek out of the bag, cut it into smaller pieces using the object and pass it to the people sitting next to me. I also ask them to help each other and pass the foods until it reaches everyone in the room. The sound of the cutting vegetables on the bronze piece gets amplified in the space. I try to communicate with my audience while cutting the foods by asking about the vegetable they prefer to have. When I make sure that everyone in the room is happy and has had at least a piece to eat, I end the performance. 


Thing(-ing) is a state of interaction with objects  in which the interpretive mind is set aside and things are considered solely by their objectness, materiality, and functional potentials. What is most intended in the process of thing (-ing) is not necessarily to achieve a definite and predetermined result, but is the real and conscious experience of the interaction between mind /body and object/ matter. It is a phenomenological and creative encounter that somehow enables me to be in the moment through physical engagement with objects.