February 20 – April 24, 2016 at the Edward Hopper House Art Center, Nyack, New York
Edward Hopper House is pleased to present Where we are Standing: Contemporary Women Artists from Iran, an exhibition featuring the work of Golnar Adili, Roya Farassat, and Shabnam K. Ghazi. These three artists all grew up in Iran and later moved to North America (two to the U.S. and one to Canada). The title of this exhibition is taken from a poem by the 14th century Persian poet, Hafez, which reads in part:
“Art is, at last, the knowledge of
Where we are standing –
Where we are standing
In this Wonderland
When we rip off all our clothes
And this blind man’s patch, veil,
That got tied across our brow…”
Adili, Farassat, and Ghazi are all driven by different creative impulses and the results vary widely, but what they share are cultural identities rooted in two worlds and through their art, they show how they stand in both.
Golnar Adili’s (b. 1976, Falls Church, VA) work is a personal digest of her memories of growing up between two places imbued with diasporic longing. She moved to Tehran with her family in 1979, when she was four years old. Not long after, her father was forced to return to the United States for political reasons. Often referencing airplanes, family letters, Persian poetry, or her own body, Adili’s themes embrace a sense of yearning coupled with attempts at examining her identity.
For her series, A Mirror Has Two Faces, Roya Farassat (b. 1964, Tehran) paints ghostly “portraits” of women, often veiled and confined in an oval shape suggestive of a hanging wall mirror. As a girl growing up in Tehran, Farassat felt that women were always under the scrutiny of an unwelcome gaze. In these portraits, there is a boldness and defiance as the subjects seek to free their suppressed identities. The prevalence of the chador (or veil) in the paintings signifies, for the artist, a “barricade,” separating society from personal identity.
Shabnam K. Ghazi’s (b. 1971, Tehran) video and still photographs from The Astonishing Story of Us in a Scarcity of Time are an investigation of the patterns that our mundane daily chores fall into and the inherent disassociation experienced as a result of the continuous repetition of our actions. In the video, human figures blur with ants as they rapidly scurry across the screen and out of sight. This project is the result of over four hours of footage and 800 still shots taken in various places, such as south of Tehran, the financial district in Toronto, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The exhibition is curated by Carole Perry. It is made possible with support from Manhattan Cardiology and Medical Offices of Manhattan.
Clare Davies in conversation with Golnar Adili, Roya Farassat and Shabnam K. Ghazi
Saturday, April 9, 3:30 pm at the Nyack Library
In conjunction with the exhibition Where We Are Standing: Contemporary Women Artists from Iran, the Edward Hopper House and the Nyack Library will host a panel discussion with the artists featured in the exhibition. Golnar Adili, Roya Farassat, and Shabnam K. Ghazi will discuss their exhibited work and engage in a thought-provoking discussion moderated Clare Davies, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Edward Hopper House
82 N. Broadway
Nyack, NY 10960
Edward Hopper House is the birthplace of artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967) and was his primary residence until 1910. Since 1971 it has been a non-profit art center with a mission to preserve Hopper’s birthplace and to encourage community engagement with the arts.
GALLERY HOURS: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5 PM or by appointment; docents are available on weekends to give tours; call Hopper House to arrange tours for groups at other times (for additional fee). Admission: Free for members and 16 & under; $2 students 17 & above; $5 seniors; $7 adults. Free for all visitors on the first Friday of each month. Discount packages available at Metro North: www.mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_edward_hopper.htm.