KOOSHK Residency Exchange

Kooshk Residency and Khoj International Artists’ Association present a new exchange program between Tehran and New Delhi for an Iranian and an Indian visual artist. This exchange program exists out of two parts. The first part in May from 1 until 21 May, 2016 in Tehran, Iran. During this residency the Indian artist has the opportunity to work in Tehran, Iran and collaborate with an Iranian artist. During this time, the space will be open to a local public of artists, students, and art critics. The program will end with a presentation and a panel discussion.

The second part will be held from 1-21 July 2016 in New Delhi, India. The same Indian and Iranian artists will participate in the second part.  Soghra Khurasani (India) and Hoora Soleimani (Iran) are the two artists present in this program.

Hoora Soleimani

During her residency at Khoj, Soleimani intends to explore ‘power shows’, i.e. weightlifting competitions, which take place around India. In her previous body of work, Soleimani has explored the form of the human body under duress of lifting weights through painting and photographs. She visits power shows and interviews participants and viewers, asking them to define the words “weight”, “pressure”, and “absurd”, as it is experienced by them in their own lives. She invites her subjects to share their stories, ideas, experiences, forms, paintings and other unknowns, which she translates into her body of work.

Soghra Khurasani

Soghra Khurasani –the name itself is inherently tied to Iran. Khurasan, now Mashhad, is the city her great grandparents belonged to in the pre-World War II era. They migrated from Iran to pre-independence India during the Nizam’s rule in Hyderabad, to help grow the system of education as they were Mullahs – teachers, and later shifted to Vishakhapatnam.

Soghra was born and brought up in India where the diversity of culture is vast. As a whole, the Muslim minority has seen communal riots and violence in everydecade since India’s independence. In her short life and practice, she has nonetheless been able to adopt a lifestyle of boldness, as there is a certain level of freedom afforded to each individual living in a democratic country. In Iran, the opposite seems to hold true, where personal liberties are not so easily accessible, but its Muslim citizens live in the majority and without fearof persecution.

During this residency, Soghra would like to understand the socio-religious-political philosophies andideologies of these two countries, and highlight, analyze and interpret theirdifferent outlooks on identity, womanhood, and community that furthershape their notions on freedom of expression and freedom of speech.


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