Farideh Sakhaeifar: You are in the war zone.
March 18 - April 17, 2021
Curated by Klaudia Ofwona Draber
Organized in partnership with Trotter&Sholer, 168 Suffolk St Grand Floor, New York, NY 10002
Opening on Saturday, March 20 at 6-8 PM at Trotter&Sholer
Ground floor, huge windows and open doors allow for stroll inside, and opening reception outside.
Masks required, appointments welcome.
Trotter&Sholer and KODA present, You are in the war zone, a solo survey exhibition by Farideh Sakhaeifar addressing the impact of war and the repercussions of displacement.
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.
This exhibition derives its title from, You are in the war zone (2016-2017), a series of silver gelatin prints of NYC’s everyday life overexposed and inscribed with hand-traced drawings from Syria’s civil war. The juxtaposition of who suffers and benefits from conflict is also on display in Pending (2016), a series of digital interventions on photographs of Syrian refugees at the borders of Turkey and Iraq sourced from The New York Times, Getty, and Reuters reports. The bodies of the refugees have been erased leaving only the objects that they carry to represent the violence and trauma experienced during theirjourney. Toppled (2015) is a bronze statue of a faceless dictatorin the moment before an act of iconoclasm. The absence of any specific oppressed people allows the sculpture to stand forthe collective memory of allrage and victory that gathers at the base of fallen monuments. When pulling down a statue, a chain works better than a rope (2021) is a digital collage of defaced and destroyed statues around the world. The palimpsest of archival photography commemorates the collective “vandalism” done in solidarity and the pursuit of inclusion. Acquired from the above by the present owner (2014) focuses on the [invisible] war and US sanctions imposed on Iran. In this documentary project, Sakhaeifarinterviews people who have acquired US army gearfrom Tehran’s black market. The testimonies investigate the reasons behind purchasing and collecting the gearthat is presented in wooden coffins, their portraits being drawn through the collection of objects they possessed.
Politics of conflict, the heritage of war, and the feeling of displacement are recurring themes in Mute (2019), an earth-filled sculpture and accompanying performance video, Halabja (2018) and Sakhaeifar’s long-term collaboration with HEKLER highlighted by A People’s Tribunal: 28 Exhibits(2019), a performative tribunal that brought together artists, activists, and scholars to account forthe impact of global counterinsurgency doctrine. With storytelling, installation, and song as "evidence," the tribunal interrogated the rhetoric that has fueled the lasting trauma of the US warin Iraq while building a collective archive that fostered alternative spaces ofrestitution for evaluating the war on terror.