Rex Delafkaran

The foundation of my practice is rooted in methods and acts of translation to discover hybrid forms and functions, abstract languages, and explore narratives of Iranian, American and queer identities, real and invented. Through frameworks of hybridity and simultaneousness, my work translates ideas physically through live performance, multimedia documentation, ceramic, sculpture and dance, while reconsidering the literal and cultural functions of objects and bodies.

Through the lens of identity aesthetics I see implicit failures in handmade objects, functional ready-made objects, and the language of dance. When deployed in concert these failures form questions and have the possibility to invent new pathways of understanding. From the tensions between objects like cinder blocks and crafted ceramic vessels, or a ceramic dildo alongside an imaginary flag, the question that arises is the aim. My practice settles into divergence long enough to make evident the intertwining of identity, utility and legibility.
I visualize and embody interdisciplinary language, to investigate humor, formal relationships, and discomfort in the results. In what ways do we translate our personal and historical archives into our bodies, and in what ways do haptic translations deepen and hybridize existing knowledge?  Reconciling and constructing personal identity challenges notions of authenticity and cultural failure, and affects the understanding of legibility. I am interested in what languages and materials we have at our disposal to make meaning.  Where does the visceral and emotional mythologize utility and identity?

Rex Delafkaran is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist and dancer from California, currently based in Washington, D.C. Delafkaran holds a degree in Ceramics and Performance Art from the San Francisco Art Institute. Using movement and objects she explores ideas of failure and tensions between bodies, intimacy and language. She has exhibited work and staged performances at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC), IA&A at Hillyer (Washington, DC), Transformer Gallery (Washington, DC), Panoply Performance Lab (Brooklyn, NY), Southern Exposure Gallery (San Francisco, CA), and the Textile Museum at The George Washington University (Washington, DC) among other venues. Delafkaran was the Exhibition Director of Hamiltonian Artists in Washington, DC till December 2020, and is the Co-founder and Co-director of but, also: an artist-run exhibition and project space. Often working collaboratively, Delafkaran curates independently, teaches movement and ceramics practices, and continues to perform and exhibit nationally and internationally.

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