Untitled (Performing Death)
Ali Kheradyar’s contribution to “Words on Paper” stands simply. “Untitled (Performing Death)” (2016): a trough of earth holding a poetic statement printed on white paper. But it is actually a portal containing inquiry into the nature of representation and the emotions attendant to mortality. Kheradyar examines how it feels and what it means to perform one’s death in her witness of Pina Bausch’s “Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)” and subsequent personal realization of the choreography in a kind of emotional laboratory. She questions whether we can call such a recital beautiful and asks: “How can it be that a woman in distress is captivating rather than alarming?” Kheradyar is no stranger to pain and discomfort — she recounts the challenges of treating an illness in her live readings in the space of the exhibition. Her commitment to honesty and curiosity while sitting with her own embodied experiences makes possible an art that is generous and humane.
– Sara Ellen Fowler