In Iran Haji Firouz is a clownesque character in blackface, traditionally heralding the Persian New Year: Nowruz, with song and dance Set within a busy shopping street in West-Berlin, Entekhabi enacts his own version of Haji Fairuz. However, his continuous efforts and increasingly exaggerated gestures to attract attention and become included are widely ignored by the busy Christmas shoppers. Their own preoccupation with performing the festive season themselves, by means of consumption, disallows them to see an element which seems out-of-place. Entekhabi’s Haji Firouz challenges normative behavioural patterns by pushing social and racial boundaries; it becomes clear within these parameters, that participation in a particular system, is based on exclusivity and conformity.
This work was created as part of Visual Foreign Correspondents - a monthly series of audiovisual artworks for the public screen and online, relating to The Globalised Crystal Ball, an international debating program in De Balie, Amsterdam. Distinguished artists from around the world are invited to give their personal visual commentary on events and situations from their local perspective.