Gelare Khoshgozaran

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Artist Statement

As an interdisciplinary artist, writer and translator I work across the mediums of video, performance, installation and writing. My work is an inquiry into the normalization of violence through seemingly innocuous aesthetic means. Informed by the experience of living the first four years of my life during the Iran-Iraq war, I address the concreteness of that experience vis á vis the neoliberal abstractions of violence in drone-age U.S.A. Through performance I explore perversion as a tactic for the recognition of the artist’s complacency and complicity in the creation of difference forms of violence.

A sequel to my video and research project, “rial and tERROR”, my recent body of work is an aesthetic study of the visual and textual materials from sites of personal and collective trauma. My video-installation, “Cosmos” is a work in progress, composed of the Iranian right-wing newspaper, Kayhan (Cosmos) for every day that it was published during the nine months of my mother’s pregnancy with me during the war. The newspapers were shipped to me directly from Iran where I can no longer return due to my exile as a queer and political asylee in the U.S.

Residing in Los Angeles, I imagine and experience the city as a space between asylum as “the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee” and the more dated meaning of the word, “an institution offering shelter and support to people who are mentally ill.”




MFA, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.


BA Photography, University of Arts, Tehran, Iran.

Solo, Exhibitions & Performances 


I Went to the Doctor and Guess What He Told Me , Local Project, Long Island City, NY.

Undocumentary (reading and performance) at Evening of Various Wonders organized by Jen Hofer, Los Angeles, CA


The Drone Operator , performance at Discostan in partnership with the LA Islam Arts Initiative, Footsie’s Bar, Los Angeles.


The Flirtatious Pirouette of the Artist Around His Subject [sic] , Neely Macomber Travel Award Show, Roski Gallery at USC, Los Angeles, CA.


rial & tERROR , MFA Thesis Exhibition, Roski Gallery at USC, Los Angeles, CA.


Nostalgia , Gelare Khoshgozaran and Mehregan Kazemi, Laleh Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran.

Select, Group, Exhibitons & Screenings


fadeinfadeout, organized by Jimena Sarno, 435 S Broadway, Los Angeles.

Nietzsche Was A Man, Pori Art Museum, Finland

Black Gold and White Noise , PØST, Los Angeles, CA


Shangri La: Imagined Cities, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

Theory of Survival: Fabrications, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA.

A Meerkat’s Whistle, 3 Days Awake, Los Angeles, CA.

Artists’ Books and Cookies III, Ooga Booga and ForYourArt, Los Angeles.


A Bomb, With Ribbon Around It, Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY.

Encyclonospace Iranica, Curated by Mohammad Salemy, Access Gallery, Vancouver, BC.

Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow Coagula Curatorial, Los Angeles, CA.

Muslihat Video Festival, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Nietzsche Was A Man, Museo ExTeresa Arte Actual, Mexico.


The Invisible Present, Curated by AmirAli Ghasemi, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON.


STATUS! STATUS! STATUS! Exhibition and Workshop, Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY.

Iran via Video Current, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY.

Bloodlines, Craftswoman House, Pasadena, CA.

On UN TV, Organized by Katayoun Vaziri, Vaudeville Park Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

TVDinner, Sazmanab Project Tehran and OtherIS, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY.

Failure, The Cube at List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge, MA.

Close to My Heart, Arad Museum Complex, Arad, Romania.


One Hour Photo Project, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC.


Appropriation Allowed, Aaran Gallery, Tehran, Iran.

Awards & Residencies


Santa Fe Art Institute Emigration/Immigration Residency


The Warhol Foundation | Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant Award.

At land’s edge, Visual Research Fellow, Fall.

California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts, Emerging Artist Fellowship.


Rema Hort Mann Yo Yo Yo Artist Grant (with Shagha Ariannia).


Meta Young Art Critic Award, artgenève 2013.


USC Neely Macomber Travel Award.

Publication & writing


The Body of the Email , Brooklyn Rail, February.


Epitaph for Family , a conversation with Johanna Breiding, Temporary Art Review

ATTN Journal, issue 1: July 31, 2015, published by Further Other Book Works

Belaboring the Fringe: in lieu of an Artist Statement , Temporary Art Review

AIRGRAMS , TRIPWIRE Journal #9: Transnational/Translational


TRANSPOSITIONS , Shangri La: Imagined Cities exhibition catalog, Coedited by Rijin Sahakian and Mostafa Heddaya, commissioned by the LA Islam Arts Initiative.

The House of Melancholy and Strength , Jadaliyya, July.

When the Kid Was A Kid: A Conversation with Anahita Ghazvinizadeh , Wild Gender, April.

Iran Modern? Sure, What About It? A Conversation with Mohammad Salemy , Ajam Media Collective

Under Contemporary Art’s Vitrine , The Enemy, issue 1.


Nostalgia for a Past I have Never Had , Parkett vol.91

Regarding Our Pain and Others’ , Wild Gender, July 2012

Publication & translation


Contributing Translator: Art in Theory 19002000 (EngFarsi translation, Tehran 2016)


Contributing Translator: Fictionville, Rokni Haerizadeh’s Monograph , Negar Azimi, Koenig Books, London


Translator: Reconstructing Gender: Iraqi Women Between Dictatorship, Sanctions, War and Occupation , AlAli, Nadje. Third World Quarterly Vol. 26, No. 4/5. Persian translation published in Zannegaar Journal of Women Studies, Vol. 9


Translation: Critical Theory: Very Short Introduction , Bronner, Stephen Eric. Oxford University Press, 2011 (Persian translation, publication on hold).


Contributing Translator: Alighiero e Boetti , Godfrey, Mark. Yale University Press


Translator: Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics , Levi Strauss, David. Aperture,


(Persian translation, publication on hold)


Contributing Translator: Crisis of the Real, Writings on Photography , Grundberg, Andy. Aperture,


(Persian translation, publication on hold)