Sheida Soleimani’s latest show comments on the complex political relationship between Iran and the US
by MARIGOLD WARNER
The Iranian-American artist presents her latest body of work, Hot Bed, at New York’s Denny Dimin Gallery
Sheida Soleimani’s work combines photography, sculpture, collage and film to comment on historical and contemporary socio-political issues. She tackles ethical questions about power and exploitation with references to present-day crises, offering a wider narrative centred on global politics and corruption.
The Iranian-American artist’s current exhibition, at New York’s Denny Dimin Gallery, presents her latest body of work, Hot Bed, a comment on Iran’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Soleimani blends cut-outs of political leaders with satellite images of mass graves, and references to the US-imposed sanctions against Iran, which threw the country into economic depression earlier this year.
The exhibition also presents Soleimani’s extended examination of how exploitation, corruption, and abuse inform relationships between Middle Eastern and Western leaders, institutions, and governments. Each image targets a specific event, tracing critical moments in the history of Iran and the US’s international relations, beginning with the 1953 Iranian coup. Dark, humorous, and sarcastic, Soleimani’s work exists at the intersection of art and activism, inviting viewers to build new connections and readings about political issues of our time.
Based in Rhode Island, Providence, Soleimani works from a converted barn-studio behind her Victorian home. In the next issue of British Journal of Photography, we visit her at her studio, where, alongside creating dynamic installations and sculptures, she rehabilitates baby squirrels, racoons, and birds.
Sheida Soleimani: Hotbed is on show at Denny Dimin Gallery, New York, until 23 December 2020.