Of Crows & Nightingales, 2015
Performance Art
Live Installation

Of Crows & Nightingales

Site specific installation, Downtown LA Artwalk, 2015
Guerilla street performances, 2015. Video by Snakebite Cortez, 2015
Photography and lighting design by Aaron Paul Rogers, 2015

Nightingales are put in cages because their songs give pleasure.
Whoever heard of keeping a crow?
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi (QAS)

This performance piece was an exploration of the psychologies of isolation in the context of the “modesty experience”. On reading the above quote by Rumi, the artist was reminded of a very sensitive coping mechanism she employed during the weighted circumstances of imposed modesty (having been forced to wear hijab for 8 years). In summoning the inner strength and composure to leave the house every morning, it was often an elevated sense of pride and self-worth that helped get through days in public. Over the years, a deep resentment began to form, as internal and external identities grew further apart. Beliefs instilled at home fed the belief systems of judgemental spite against the Western women in everyday life. “We must be extra special and unique, unlike the ‘common’ crows parading their goods around for all to see.” As bittering as these sentiments were, deploying this mechanism of bloated pride provided solace in moments of painful isolation and invisibility. 

The site-specific nature of this performance project was an important component to the psychological explorations and emotional healing for the artist. This project was explored in a series of street performances, including an installation at the Downtown LA artwalk. As an LA-native, various locations of the artist’s life and psycho-social traumas were revisited in a guerilla performance day-trip around the city
, documented in 2015 by videographer Snakebite Cortez.

Studio photos were taken by Aaron Paul Rogers and later reproduced by Bint as mixed media prints on aluminum featuring 24K gold inscriptions and detailing as shown below.

Still from video by Snakebite Cortez, 2015.