Trotter&Sholer and KODA are pleased to present You’re in the war zone., a solo exhibition by Iranian artist Farideh Sakhaeifar. This survey exhibition is the culmination of seven years of the artist’s exploration of war, conflict, displacement and genocide through her artistic practice. Sakhaeifar is an artist and educator who employs a range of media to critique US foreign policy and the Western narrative of the war in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA)region. Her creative practice includes sculpture, video, installation, collage, and collaboration with HEKLER, an artist-run collaborative platform fostering the critical examination of hospitality and conflict
Sakhaefar’s works are an exploration of the ways in which the Middle East is represented and understood in America. Sakhaefar has become interested in the ideas of memorialization and erasure. Her work poses questions about who is chosen to be remembered and who is forgotten or erased from our collective histories. Many of Sakhaefar’s works serve as monumental testaments of memory to those whose stories, and often whose suffering has not been adequately memorialized or honored. Halabja, 1988, for example, stands as a kind of monument to those who were the victims of genocide by a chemical weapon attack in Halabja, Iraq. In her series Pending Sakhaefar has erased migrants and refugees as they flee Syria. Their belongings, carried with them, are the only items left in the images to represent their struggle and humanity. These works appropriate images that shared via services such as Getty images and their manipulation forces the viewer to question the position of the Western gaze with respect to images of conflict and suffering, particularly in the MENA region.
Acquired from the above by the present owner (2014) focuses on the [invisible] war and US sanctions imposed on Iran. In this documentary project, Sakhaeifar interviews people who have acquired US army gear from Tehran’s black market. The testimonies investigate the reasons behind purchasing and collecting the gear that is presented in wooden coffins, their portraits being drawn through the collection of objects they possessed.
The exhibition, You’re in the war zone. derives its title from the series of silver gelatin prints (2016-2017) of everyday life in NYC overexposed and inscribed with hand-traced drawings from the Syria’s civil war. Bringing the images of suffering into the visual frame of New York City upends the Orientalist gaze and refocuses it on the human experience.
Sakhaefar’s work engages narrative and critical awareness of conflict and war in a nuanced and textured artistic practice. Exhibiting these bodies of work together demonstrates Sakhaefar’s deep-rooted captivation with her subjects and her enduring sense of justice and commitment to those affected by war and conflict.
You’re in the war zone. is on view at Trotter&Sholer, 168 Suffolk Street, New York, NY from March 18th, to April 18th.
Farideh Sakhaeifar is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and a core member of HEKLER based in New York City. She is. Sakhaeifar’s work investigates the politics of conflict, collective history, and personal accounts. She received her MFA from Cornell University (2011) and her BFA from Azad Art and Architecture University in Iran (2008). Sakhaeifar has awarded the Shed first Open Call (2019) and has been an artist in residence at Queens Museum Studio Program (2018), Residency Unlimited (2017), BRIC media fellowship (2017), BRIC Doc Intensive (2017), and Workspace Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) (2012-13). Sakhaeifar’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and has been widely covered, including ArtFuse, The Guardian, and Hyperallergic.
HEKLER is an artist-run collaborative platform that fosters the critical examination of hospitality and conflict. They support radical thought and international solidarity by collectively reimagining educational environments, community care, and resistance. HEKLER was initiated by artists Nataša Prljević, Joshua Nierodzinski, and Jelena Prljević in Brooklyn, NY (2018).
KODA is a social practice non-profit arts organization focusing on conceptual mid-career artists ingrained in social justice. KODA offers survey exhibitions as well as tailor-made and community-based artist residencies, through collaborations with socially engaged partners. The non-profit serves the community with contemporary art events and outreach to strengthen arts education. In its overall mission to support the artistic and professional growth of artists, KODA acts as a laboratory for creative concepts reflecting its core values of curiosity and collaboration.
Contact:Anna Mikaela Ekstrand
168 Suffolk Street
New York, New York