Arash Fayez

(Tehran, 1984)

I Could Smell Arak Lingering on my Breath When I Pulled the Trigger, 2014

Lecture-performance. 20 min (approx.)

I Could Smell Arak Lingering on my Breath When I Pulled the Trigger is a lecture-performance that investigates the effect of migration in shaping perceptions of social worth. This project looks at three particular events: the migration happening at that moment towards Europe [2015]; the killing of members of an Iranian rock band in Brooklyn [2013]; and the personal experience of the artist, arrested by the US Department of Homeland Security in San Francisco [2014]. By interlacing these events, this project looks into the potential complexity of adapting to a new environment.

This lecture-performance focuses on the pressure on migrants to perform a version of themselves independent of their personal wish and capacity. Using news reports, official documents, and anecdotes, this work explores the mental impact of this constant coercion and force.

This project uses the book The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind by psychologist Julian Jaynes as a framework to understand the way in which the brain of a displaced person may function.