Artifacting

Raheleh Filsoofi

May 7 – 31
First Saturday Opening Reception, May 7, 5-8pm

Raheleh Filsoofi, BITE, Performance video with ceramic objects, 2021.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION:

Unrequited Leisure is excited to announce the opening of our May exhibition, Artifacting, a solo exhibition by Raheleh Filsoofi. The exhibition opens May 7, 2022, during the First Saturday WeHo Arts Crawl with an Artist Reception from 5-8pm.

In the context of digital media, the term “artifacting” refers to a noticeable distortion within a video file, brought on by an extrinsic agent, an act of compression. Performing as this change agent, Filsoofi offers her body as a tool of compression, leaving a pattern of bite marks along the edge of a series of unfired clay plates. Form, pattern, and function are captured as she sinks her teeth into the clay an artifact from when her body and spirit were borderless.

For this exhibition, Filsoofi’s performance will be presented as an installation within the gallery, pairing her video work with the clay objects produced, embodying a sense of time that references past, present, and future.

ABOUT THE WORK:

Bite is a practice of resilience and resistance. It attempts to bring the buried histories of the past forth and aim to reimagine and transcend the colonial narrative present in clay particles of the earth and artifact throughout history. The artist, woman, and immigrant, and the one who bites is the witness and an agent to expose the urgency of the contemporary moments. She offers her body as a tool and its ability to embed its unique, identifying mark on clay artifacts for future narrative and interpretation. A new narrative that emerges in respect to past knowledge, to value the act of making pattern of her existence, of her strength in the current political landscape. Both labor and ritual, the physicality of the action provoke attention to the internal. To leave a mark of her existence for the future. To change the narrative. To become the narrative. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Raheleh is a collector of soil and sound, an itinerant artist, feminist curator, and community service advocate. Her work synthesizes socio-political statements as a point of departure and further challenges these fundamental arguments by incorporating ancient and contemporary media such as ceramics, poetry, ambient sound, and video. Her interdisciplinary practices act as interplay between the literal and figurative contexts of land, ownership, immigration, and border.

Her work has been shown individually and collaboratively both in Iran and the United States, including the recent interactive multimedia solo exhibitions Inh(a/i)bited, an interactive multimedia installation in Spinello Project Gallery in Miami (2020), and The Overview Effect, an interactive Multimedia Installation in Betty Foy Sanders Gallery at Georgia Southern University (2019).  Filsoofi’s ‘Imagined Boundaries’, a multimedia digital installation on border issues, consisting of two separate exhibitions, debuted concurrently in a solo exhibition at the Abad Art Gallery in Tehran and group exhibition (‘Dual Frequency’) at The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida in 2017.  The installations in each country connected audiences in the U.S. and Iran for few hours in the nights of the show openings. Her multifaceted curatorial project ‘Fold: Art, Metaphor and Practice’, which engaged over 20 artists, scholars, and educators in exhibitions, performances, and lectures over a period of one year in Edinburg and McAllen, Texas, has been a milestone in her professional career.

She has been the recipient of grants and awards, including the Southern Prize Tennessee State Fellowship and South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.  She is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics in the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University. She holds an M.F.A. in Fine Arts from Florida Atlantic University and a B.F.A. in Ceramics from Al-Zahra University in Tehran, Iran.