From our friends at REORIENT, today we bring you Joobin Bekhrad’s conversation with artist Anahita Razmi. Bekhrad and Razmi discuss identity, underwear, and the Pakyan. Razmi states, “I like the idea than an identity is something that one constructs, something that is at all times flexible and changing.” This article was originally published January 3, 2017.
What was I doing near Trafalgar Square? I don’t know. Anahita was riding a bicycle, and I remember feeling very short in the presence of her and her boyfriend. Having downed a few beers and feeling the first pangs of hunger, Anahita suggested we look for some good old-fashioned Persian grub—if I knew where to get any nearby. I did, actually; there was one right under our noses named after a magical bird that served cocktails with names like “Caspian Breeze.” The evening, like most others, passed by in a blur, and as the train sped towards blustering north London, I thought of cream-coloured underwear.
Anahita Razmi’s got it all. She sells obscure Iranian underwear in Berlin, drives Paykans around the world, and dances on the rooftops of Tehran. She also happens to have one of the coolest tattoos I’ve ever seen. With snazzy awards under her belt and a career spanning a wide array of disciplines and themes, her work is currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Zachęta, Poland. From the other side of the world, I got in touch with her to resume our conversation about Iranian underwear (in a broader context, of course).