ELMIRA SULTAN RASHID
“Crying Blood” is a performance created for the camera. The Performer, staring into the camera, paints her face with lipstick while impassionedly reciting a self-written, true story based on her personal experience as an Iranian woman. The story is recited in Persian (Farsi) and subtitled in English.
Sultan Rashid was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. During her twenties, when she was an art student at Art College of Tehran, her integrity was challenged by multiple betrayals. Later on, she found similarities between her Iranian life experiences and Mesopotamian mythology. In the Mesopotamian “Epic of Gilgamesh” the goddess Ishtar is outraged by Gilgamesh’s whimsical behavior. These whimsical behaviors take the form of social and judiciary law in contemporary Muslim societies. In some societies men can legally obtain up to four wives. Such social norms and laws for centuries have left women powerless and frustrated with agony and jealousy.
In “Crying Blood” Sultan Rashid refers to this socially controversial issue common among Iranians and attempts to address them by representing Ishtar and raising her revengeful voice. By staring into the camera in a close up, Sultan Rashid escalates the intensity and sensitivity of the issue discussed. The title of the performance also directs the reaction of the female community to the issue of polygamy.