Granada is a performance presented as a ritualistic experience. Using the Spanish word, for pomegranate, granada references the fruit’s origins in Iran and its significance and symbolism in Judeo-Muslim-Christian religions. On the one hand, granada, the fruit represents the fertility of a land, and on the other, a granade, the small explosive device used to kill people. The performance evokes and revolves around themes of American intervention in the Middle East, human mutilation in land mines, and religious conflicts in modern times.
The performance begins as the artist enters the space wearing a black ski mask, shirt and dhoti. In silence he lays down a black praying blanket and takes four pomegranates from a small bag. The pomegranates bear a small sticker with a barcode and the American flag. One by one he holds the round fruits in both hands, shows them to the audience, and puts them on the blanket. He proceeds to take a fifth pomegranate, opens it and starts to squeeze the arils (seeds) of the fruit directly into the public’s mouth. This action is followed by smashing the other fruits on the ground to collect their arils. He undresses and invites people to cover his body with a white powder while humming the The Star-Spangled Banner. Once he is covered in white, he directs people to join him sing. He stops singing and starts to fall on the red seeds that are on the floor. End of the performance.
The following is a documentation of the performance presented at STAGE in Newark, New Jersey on Friday, October 22, 2011.