Izdihar Afyouni (b. 1994) is a Palestinian-Jordanian artist and curator. She holds an MA from Goldsmiths, University of London, where her research focused on the ethical and psychological implications of racial profiling policies. Her creative and critical practice encompasses painting, performance art, interactive digital and sculptural installation, ritual interventions, narrative text and archival work, open-source online curations, and conceptual reading groups. Her work has been exhibited in Germany, Spain, Jordan, Palestine, the UK, and Brazil.
Afyouni’s current work is situated at the intersections of biopolitics, occult technologies and sexual dissidence. She is creator and curator of Thicker Than Blood (2017- current), an ongoing research project and immersive exhibition series engaged with revealing the unpublicised workings of government by queering bodily subjectivity, the erotics of violence and the biosurveillant measures of weeding out genetic and undesirable threats to the state. The first two exhibitions extended the extractive form of governmental subjection and surveillance of the body to its non-necessary human form, namely, its test sample. The third exists as an interactive digital artwork that was exhibited as part of a larger immersive installation at Oyoun, Berlin.
Afyouni is concerned with examining and subverting the aesthetic languages of political violence and the embodiment of oppressive structures in order to situate them in relation to geo-specific audiences. Audience participation also plays a foundational role in her work in her large-format paintings, which seek to transform the spectator into a part of the work of art, whereby surviving the form transmogrifies and queers the process of experiencing it.. This is reflected in her curatorial practice, working collaboratively with other artists and academics to propose alternative politicised frameworks for study and construct critical collective learning methodologies, with the aim of grounding artistic and pedagogical approaches to art and bare life within active engagements with anti-imperialist, liberatory politics.
Afyouni’s writing on art, occultism and politics as well as short fiction and a stage play has been published by Worms Magazine, Shoal Collective, Cuntemporary, Paraphilia Collective, amongst others. She serves on the advisory and editorial board for Studies in Theatre and Performance.
She currently lives and works in London, UK.