Multimedia Installation, Iran and the United States, 2017
On Friday, October 6, 2017, two parallel art shows, one in Iran and the other in the United States, worked to build a culture of communication through art. Each one was called ‘Imagined Boundaries’, and they opened at the Abad Gallery in Tehran, Iran and Art and Culture Center of Hollywood in Florida. Each was the product of several months of preparation and they stood along the boundary that has separated two worlds in space and time. At each location, there was a series of boxes in a collage-like composition. Some of the boxes contained video screens that show people looking out at the viewer. In Florida, the people looked out were Iranians, while in Iran the people looked out were Americans. Like the artist, one must position oneself at this boundary and ask oneself questions about the members of the socio-political and cultural group on the other side. Who are they? What are they thinking? Do I see myself in or among them?
Through this work, the artist challenged the viewer to set aside political arguments and see the basic humanity that is in all of us. The artists sought to challenge the very notion of social and political boundaries and encourage the viewer even to cross physical boundaries, in order to experience the reality on the other side.
The elegance of this installation is to make an homage to the spirit of interfaith and intercultural dialog that was promoted by Safa Khaneh Community in Isfahan in Iran in 1902.