2DIE4 is a line of handmade products that reassigns dissident iconography of Iran to the world of fashion and by doing so; it aims to create a parody, highlighting the co-optation of activist histories in the capitalist era. I created these artworks/products for the pop-up Bazaar of the exhibition "Theory of Survival: Fabrication," conceived, organized and curated by Taraneh Hemami (2014).
In general, I find engaging with Iran’s history of dissident movements to be a challenging task. While resurfacing of the underground texts and images used in my products may popularize them, they also risk diminishing their critical and historical significance. However, by fabricating consumer goods in the context of a creative bazaar, 2DIE4 products identify these limitations and invite visitors to explore the sentimental and satirical dimensions of such encounters with the past.
The images, texts, and icons that I have used in this body of work are significant in my own personal history. Each poet, writer, activist or organization, was particularly influential in my thinking as a young adolescent girl growing up under a U.S. backed totalitarian regime and in essence, they help shape much of my own philosophical and social stance. Therefore, when necessary, I have included a brief text that explains the history or significance of these icons to non-Iranian, as well as younger Iranian viewers.
The handwritten text that I have featured in a few clothing items were written by influential Iranian poets in a memorabilia that my father (Amir Niazmand) has kept during his adult life. Before my father married my mother, he lived among the intellectual community of Tehran, when he began collecting handwritten poem, pros, and artworks, by asking his friends to write in his large evolving notebook. Since then, that notebook has been rebound numerous times and is now a one of a kind compilation of art, poems and prose by various intellectuals that my father still keeps dear to his heart.
Finally, I do hope my audience engage with the satirical notion of consumers as walking billboards, as well as the paradoxical relationship of my designs and their material, with the stories they highlight.