This virtual artist talk with Tennessee Fellow Raheleh Filsoofi is based around her artwork in the South Arts 2021 exhibition in the Bo Bartlett Center.
Nashville resident Raheleh Filsoofi (b. 1975) was born and raised in Iran and has lived in the US South for more than 17 years. Among her solo exhibitions are those at Spinello Projects Gallery in Miami, FL; Georgia Southern University in Statesboro; Texas University of Houston Downtown; and Abad Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Two-person exhibitions include those at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, and Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery in Davie and the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County in Lake Worth, both in Florida. In the United States, Filsoofi’s work has been included in group shows in some 10 states, including at Strohl Art Center in Chautauqua, NY; C24 Gallery in New York City; Brickell City Centre in Miami, Arts Warehouse and Cornell Art Museum in Delray Beach, Bailey Contemporary Arts Center in Pompano Beach and Art and Cultural Center/ Hollywood, all in Florida; Veronique Wantz Gallery in Minneapolis, MN; and the Imago Foundation for the Arts in Warren, RI. In Iran, Filsoofi has shown at the Contemporary Art Museum of Isfahan and, in Tehran, the Iranian Artists Forum, Saba Art and Cultural Institute and Niavaran Cultural Center. Filsoofi holds a BFA from Al-Zahra University in Tehran and an MFA from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She teaches ceramics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Through years of multi-disciplinary practice, I’ve kept pace with rapidly changing socio-political debates around the world and their relatively expansive influences on human conditions. Immigration, borders and cultural communications are today’s most fundamental discourses, which are immensely interwoven with notions of identity, belonging and inhabitation. Art can be an intermediary language shared between individuals, nations and cultures, addressing these issues by touching the innermost layers of personality within people.
I’ve used different aesthetic strategies by experimenting with a wide range of materials relevant to my subject matter, such as ceramics, poetry and ambient sound and video. I use those media to negotiate and access concepts of heritage, place of origin, orientation toward or away from origin and cultural adaptability. My multimedia installations are rooted deeply in my cultural, Iranian background and the new identity I acquired as an immigrant. The installations aim to challenge the viewer’s existing point of view and personal perspectives about others and themselves. These interactive pieces invite the onlooker to delve into my recollections of sense, sound, place and memories of my journeys across national and international borders.
See the talk below: