Imagined Boundaries

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 who looked out were Iranians, while in Iran the people who 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.

Imagined Boundaries

Friday, October 6, 2017, in the United States 

Imagined Boundaries

Friday, October 6, 2017, in Iran

Selected Images of the Installation 

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magined Boundaries, Multimedia Installation, Iran and the United States, Raheleh Filsoofi

Title:  Imagined Boundaries – Episode 2

(Alert; Miscommunication)

What is a limit?  What is a border?  How far can the eye see?  We know most of all what we see with our own eyes, more than what we are told, more than what we read.  How can we see beyond our own physical limits?  The purpose of this project is to build a culture of communication through visual art.  People from many different places are asked to look into a video camera -- a device that is capable of extending our vision world-wide -- and project themselves beyond the boundaries imposed by physical space, political divisions, and even social norms.  The focus of this project, as the initial version of it (Imagined Boundaries), is to look beyond the current political rhetoric and posturing that puts the United States and Iran at loggerheads, in order to see the simple fact that we are all people living in a single world in this moment.  Each side sees the other indirect, though silent, communication.  What are we thinking when we are being recorded by the camera?  What were those that we see thinking when they were recorded?  Was it the same?  Was it somehow different?  The project, in its essence, is a call to communication in the face of current political confrontation.

Installation view

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©2020 Raheleh T. Filsoofi. All rights reserved