Rokni Haerizadeh

Dagger Dance

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Rokni Haerizadeh
Dagger Dance
2008
Acrylic on canvas
200 x 200 cm
Dancing with swords is a traditional custom throughout the Arab world, usually performed by women as part of a wedding ceremony. Haerizadeh delivers this scene with the vivid exoticism of Matisse or Gauguin, his bold colours, heavy outlines, and opulent patterning re-appropriating the tradition of ‘orientalism’. Haerizadeh uses this association with extrinsic idealisation to envision a burlesque parody of the morality of women: his acrobatic belly dancers, chained to the stage, have transformed into a nefariously devious troupe. In conventional ritual the sword represents the honour of the husband, which the girl on the right has ‘accidentally’ dropped.

     
 


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