Artist information

Firoozeh Bazrafkan was born in Iran in 1982 and holds a degree from The Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus, Denmark. Having a Danish-Persian background and challenging the mindsets of both Western and Middle East societies, she is a rare figure within the Scandinavian art scene.

Bazrafkan works within a variety of expressions: performance, installation, photography, video, drawing, painting and audio. Her artworks orbit around fundamental themes such as religion, sex, freedom (of speech) and equality within religious communities.

Her art is repeatedly about making the spectator question their own beliefs; thus the reaction is as important as the art object itself, says Firoozeh Bazrafkan. During her career, she has been an active figure in the public discourse in Denmark as a TV art critic and a regular blogger at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

In 2007, Firoozeh Bazrafkan made her breakthrough with the installation ‘Disbelievers’ (‘Vantro´).

A recurring theme in Firoozeh Bazrafkan’s work is the woman’s perspective and Iranian theocracy.

– After being born in Iran and having been torn from my motherland as a little girl when my parents fled from a dictatorship that overthrew the king (‘shah’) I feel forever tied to the fate of every Iranian woman. I was fortunate to escape oppression and male dominance when my family and I moved to Denmark, giving us a new life of immense freedom and opportunity. Yet I long for that glorious country that Iran could have been, says Bazrafkan.

In her art, Firoozeh Bazrafkan invests her own body and goes beyond what most people do to initiate a debate. Her system-critical performances and videos questioned her own cultural origins and the constraints her generation faces in Iran and Denmark.

It is Bazrafkan’s intention to reach out to the mind of the spectator. Some feel tickled by her works while others feel kicked in the gut. This reaction is as much the result of the spectator’s mind as the art itself. Because she is inspired by the lives and fates of real people and by actual events, her art often takes on a documentary quality.

– My objective is not to interfere with people’s lives. I am not after anyone’s religion or manhood. I am simply distilling pieces of reality into artworks so that the people who view them can ask themselves: ‘Am I okay with this…’