Four Contemporary Artists of the Iranian Diaspora Examine Geographies of Belonging

Part and Parcel opens January 25 at the SFAC Main Gallery

Woman stands in front of a mountain with mylar covering her body

Minoosh Zomorodinia, Sensation, 2016-17, video still, Iran

SAN FRANCISCO – This spring marks 40 years since the Iranian Revolution disrupted a nation and laid the groundwork for global conflicts in the following decades. It resulted in millions of lives being displaced and dislocated, and initiated a shift in the politics of the region that deepened a complicated and precarious rift between conflicting ideologies, resulting in an ongoing exile for Iranians in diaspora across the world.

The SFAC Galleries is pleased to present Part and Parcel, guest curated by renowned local artist, curator and educator Taraneh Hemami. As a member of the Iranian diaspora, Hemami was interested in fostering an exhibition that would take a look at geographies of belonging. What does it mean to belong? How do specific places affect our ability to be included or excluded from belonging? And how does one negotiate identity in a new space when dislocated from self-defining cultural, political, geographical or social aspects from another? What role do desires to fit in and/or resist assimilation have in belonging?

Hemami says, “At this moment in time, when America is increasingly divided over immigration policies, I’m excited for the public to see works by Iranian women that provoke conversation around global population shifts, from both theoretical and personal perspectives.”

The four featured artists, Tannaz Farsi, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Sahar Khoury and Minoosh Zomorodinia examine crossings and becomings, systems and processes, nature and language, time and histories, and remnants of the everyday, in their multidisciplinary projects.

Gelare Khoshgozaran, an interdisciplinary artist and writer, was born and raised in Tehran and currently lives in Los Angeles. In her work, she envisions the city as an imaginary space between asylum as “the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee” and the more dated meaning of the word, “an institution offering shelter and support to people who are mentally ill.” Part and Parcel features a new installation by Khoshgozaran that harkens back to a previous project featuring internally-illuminated packages sent back and forth from California to Iran.

In Bay Area-based artist Minoosh Zomorodinia’s new two-channel video the artist is depicted standing alone in epic natural landscapes facing into strong winds that press a silver safety blanket against her body. Zomorodinia struggles against the gale to keep her body covered. Her resistance against forces beyond her control, and her determination to be both present and invisible at the same time, combine in ways that are powerful and at times humorous.

For her Bay Area debut, Oregon-based artist Tannaz Farsi will be installing works from her recent solo exhibition, Points of Departure. For a large wall-work, Farsi displays the names of Iranian women, historical and contemporary, creating a visible and accountable document of women's public intellectual labor in Iran and abroad. The names are spelled out in a custom font inspired by 10th-century Arabic calligraphy.

Sahar Khoury, an Oakland-based artist, will produce a new installation of hybrid sculptural works for the exhibition that bring attention to key historical dates in the Iran/US relationship of the past four decades.

SFAC Galleries Director Meg Shiffler adds, “Misunderstanding and fear is actively stoked by the Trump administration on a daily basis. Part and Parcel brings into focus the thoughts and concerns of individual members of the Iranian diaspora currently living in the US. Our hope is that viewers will come away with a greater sense of our shared humanity.”

Part and Parcel and its partner exhibition Once at Present (March 29 - April 20, 2019), curated by Kevin B. Chen and Taraneh Hemami at Minnesota Street Project, are affiliate programs of the international conference,  Forty Years and More (March 28 - 30 2019), presented by the new Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University.

Exhibition Details:

Title: Part and Parcel
Dates: January 25 – March 30, 2019
Location: SFAC Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94610
Curator: Taraneh Hemami
Artists: Tannaz Farsi, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Sahar Khoury and Minoosh Zomorodinia


Opening Reception: Friday, January 25
Location: SFAC Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94610
Tickets: No tickets. No RSVP. Free and open to the public
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