|Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Join us for a special screening of the three latest video works by our resident Gelare Khoshgozaran, followed by a conversation between the artist and curator Eliel Jones.
Screened together for the first time, Memories of Loitering (2021), MEN OF MY DREAMS (2020), and Medina Wasl: Connecting Town (2018) offer an insight into Gelare’s work with film and video; concerned with the relationships between landscape and memory, mapping and archive.
After the 45 minute screening, Gelare and independent curator, writer and organiser, Eliel Jones will enter into a half an hour discussion. The two friends and interlocutors will touch on memory, loss, queer longing and dreams in relation to different histories of violence and in the context of Gelare’s practice. The event will close with an opportunity for Q&A.
Memories of Loitering, 2021
7 min, 30 sec. Digital video (16mm film, super 8 family footage, and digital video), colour, sound. Music by Lara Sarkissian
Memories of Loitering intimately brings moments from the artist’s past and present together through a spatiotemporal experience of mapping and slow burn. In its overlaying of images and sounds, the piece meditates on the dislocation and accumulation of the residues of a past, which continue to form an embodied understanding of the disjointed present.
A central element of the work are excerpts from a written transcript of a conversation Khosgozaran had with her grandmother in 2016, right around the time she began to lose her memory and most cognitive abilities. Charting the slow decay of the mind, which inhibits the ability to console and make sense of the artist’s immigration, Memories of Loitering contrasts the slow drift of one’s life as an immigrant, inhabiting multiple realities, spaces, and desires, with the slow building of a new life in the empire as a diasporic subject, a labour that is ever going and never-ending.
MEN OF MY DREAMS, 2020
9 min, 30 sec. Super 8 film transferred to video, colour, sound.
MEN OF MY DREAMS unfolds a series of vignettes that toy with the unstable ground between fact and fiction. Thinking about this past as being materially present in fragments of knowledge carried by the body, MEN OF MY DREAMS delves into the artist’s personal history by invoking a group of men that surrounded the artist through their writing, singing, filming and activism while growing up in Tehran and moving to the US, including: writers Edward Said and Roberto Bolaño; poet Federico Garcia Lorca; filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini; singer Farhad Mehrad; Iranian journalist and poet Khosrow Golesorkhi; and also Saeed, Khoshgozaran’s father. This work was commissioned by Cell Project Space, London, as part of Queer Correspondence – a mail art initiative curated by Eliel Jones.
Medina Wasl: Connecting Town, 2018
31 min. 16mm film transferred to video, colour, sound.
The film traces the Middle Eastern landscapes in the California desert to histories of violence and colonization through agriculture, architecture and military interventions. Shot at Fort Irwin National Training Center (The Box), Camp Pendleton, Mecca, California and the Riverside County Fair and Date Festival, the footage is overlaid with interviews with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (via voice actors) about their memories of the landscapes in the “Middle East.” Recontextualizing signifiers in architecture, language and landscape, the film creates a dream-like rendering of a site constructed of architecture, images and memories, blends fiction and reality, dream and waking life as testimony to continued violence. It creates a surreal collage connecting the two regions across the decades through war and colonialism, displacing the artist’s visual memories of the war-torn Shatt al-Arab (during the Iran-Iraq war) in the militarized Southern California desert where she resides.
Gelare Khoshgozaran‘s practice is fluid in form and medium. Preoccupied with surveillance and simulation, her work ponders the production of sites through the perception of bodies, objects and images. Gelare is an artist-in-residence at Delfina Foundation over May 2021, supported by MOP Foundation as a 2017 Contemporary Art Prize Finalist.
Eliel Jones is a writer and curator based in London and an organiser with Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants. He has curated projects in the UK and internationally. He has written essays for various artists’ catalogs and publications, as well as reviews and features on contemporary art and performance for Artforum, Frieze, The Guardian, Flash Art, Mousse, Spike Art Quarterly, and MAP Magazine. At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, he delivered monthly commissioned projects across the world through Queer Correspondence, a mail-art initiative.