Notes for an Eye Fire exhibition views. Photo: Miquel Coll
Arash Fayez’s practice investigates conditions of displacement and notions such as statelessness and in-betweenness.
The 310 sheets of paper on display are a visual account of Fayez’s administrative transactions relating to his immigration status. They cover his departure from Tehran, arrival in the US, arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the subsequent lengthy period of legal uncertainty until his departure from the country. Each official document is overlaid with a photograph taken by the artist with his phone around the same time. This juxtaposition contrasts bureaucracy with daily life, while also serving to conceal sensitive or personal information on the documents. The paper trail is punctuated with a slide projection which represents the artist’s move to the UK and the final path to regularize his legal status in Spain.
Apolis and Limbo form an inquiry into liminal spaces, legal and otherwise, that speaks to the experience of being in between locations, cultures, and identities.
Arash Fayez’s practice investigates conditions of displacement and notions such as statelessness and in-betweenness. As a native of Iran who relocated to the US, before moving to the UK and then Spain, where he currently resides, Fayez’s work often departs from his own experiences of moving from one place to another. At times, the autobiographical references in his work are interlaced with other historical and fictional narratives to evoke a sense of being in transient locations, cultures or identities. His enquiries into liminal spaces, geographic or otherwise, take the form of writing, performance and video.
Arash Fayez holds a BA in Architecture from Soureh University, Tehran (2009), and an MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco (2013). He has recently participated in group shows at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (2020), and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2019). He has performed at venues such as Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2020); La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona (2019); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2017); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015). arashfayez.com
On Betweenness (2019) is a lecture-performance where Fayez delves into his concept of liminality by looking at dualities—here between Arash Faeiz (his official surname) and Arash Fayez (his unofficial, self-given surname)—and examining how the destruction of identity can allow for the birth of a multiplicity of personae.
Three, Rather Than Two (or One), premiered at La Virreina Centre de la Imatge in 2019, is a performance part of the project.
Apolis (The Envelopes)
These envelopes used to contain some of the immigration letters that structured the project Apolis. They are a physical representation of the uncertainty experienced whilst in limbo awaiting a response.