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Dawn of the Cold Season

Solo exhibition of performance work by Sussan Deyhim

November 15, 2014 – January 10, 2015

Public Opening Reception: Saturday, November 15, 2014 7:00 – 9:00pm

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Performance and Event Schedule:

Saturday, November 15, 2014 – 7:00 – 9:00pm Opening Reception

Thursday, December 11, 2014 – 7:00 – 9:00pm

Saturday, December 13, 2014 – 4:00pm Art Talk with Peter Frank

Shulamit Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of mixed media performance installations by the internationally renowned performance artist, vocalist and composer, Sussan Deyhim. Based in Los Angeles, Deyhim recently completed an artist residency at the acclaimed Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, FL. Forough Farrokhzad, the influential 1950’s Iranian literary heroine, feminist existentialist poet and filmmaker, inspired Deyhim’s art works created as part of a larger media stage production “The House is Black” to be presented by CAP UCLA at Royce Hall on January 23, 2014). The prints were produced during Deyhim’s residency fellowship at the Rauschenberg Residency/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Each performance installation on view at Shulamit Gallery is from Sussan Deyhim’s personal explorations into Farrokhzad’s potent feminist existential poetry. During Dawn of the Cold Season, the gallery will be transformed into a multi-level performance installation space showcasing Deyhim’s saturated photographs, videos, haunting vocals and music in collaboration with Golden Globe winning composer Richard Horowitz. The installations are inspired by Forough Farrokhzad poems: I Will Greet the Sun Again, Let us Believe in the Dawn of the Cold Season, Sin, and Wind up Doll. In addition to the installation the gallery will host a series of live performances by Sussan Deyhim throughout the run of the show. These performances will include Forough Farrokhzad poetry readings in both Farsi and English with original music and elements of sound throughout the gallery space. Viewers will step into an intimate and provocative secret world.

Dawn of the Cold Season refers directly to Forough Farrokhzad’s collections of poems “Let us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” 1974, one of the most discussed books of original writing by an Iranian literary figure. This poem is the poet’s brave admission that she has passed on from the vibrancy, beauty and joy of youth and is inescapably deteriorating into old age. Deyhim’s video installation and prints titled Dawn of the Cold Season are the artist’s empathetic expression of the poem. In the video, Deyhim’s mesmerizing and hypnotic voice recites the poem as she passes in front of a mirror and then behind distorted sheets of Mylar. The effect is a gradual and severely uncomfortable distortion of a beautiful woman into a non-human form. The deeply saturated prints in the exhibition from this series are a selection of powerful still images from the video installation. Deyhim interprets Farrokhzad’s work because she is deeply inspired by the poet’s life, which much like Deyhim’s, was lived true to herself and her artistic vision. Both Iranian artists have bravely confronted issues related to gender politics and prefabricated cultural and social stigmas. Deyhim acknowledges Farrokhzad’s 50s and 60s era as an even more difficult time to deal with the same issues in Iran. Farrokhzad died tragically in a car accident at the age of 32. In the short time she created a historically significant body of work that changed the lives of Iranian women and the face of Iranian poetry. Through the process of creating work for Dawn of the Cold Season, Deyhim has gotten to know the poet intimately and she humbly presents her work and performance as in recognition of a dear friend.

“For me, the most inspiring aspect of this project is the opportunity to introduce the great work and sensibility of an Iranian female icon to the international community. Many Iranian intellectuals consider Forough a cultural godmother of modernist literature in Iran, but she died so young (at the age of 32) that I also think of her as our cultural daughter. A rebel with a cause, Forough spoke with awe-inspiring rawness and maturity. She was an existentialist, feminist provocateur. She was Iran’s Simone de Beauvoir, Frida Kahlo, Maya Deren and Patty Smith all rolled into one. Her work has given me the inspiration to continue my own artistic journey during my 30 years in exile from Iran.”

– Sussan Deyhim

In addition to Shulamit Gallery’s presentation of Dawn of the Cold Season, Sussan Deyhim will be present the live media performance The House Is Black on Friday, January 23, 2015, 8pm at Royce Hall, CAP UCLA. This incredible opportunity to see Sussan perform in front of a live audience is sponsored by a generous grant from the prestigious Farhang Foundation, which supports Iranian arts and culture and by a residency fellowship at CAP UCLA. Deyhim weaves a series of nonlinear tableaux inspired by Forough’s writings together with archival images and footage, including Forough’s 1965 interview with Bernardo Bertolucci in Tehran. The most-anticipated solo exhibition Dawn of the Cold Season was recently highlighted in a Los Angeles Times article profiling gallery owner and director, Shulamit Nazarian:

“Mid-November, Shulamit will present a solo show by Iranian musician and performance artist Sussan Deyhim. It will feature multimedia performance pieces inspired by Iranian feminist poet Forough Farrokhzad that the artist created as part of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency. The exhibition will include framed photographs from previous performances and a roster of new, live performances.” – Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2014.

Dawn of the Cold Season will be on view November 15, 2014 – January 10, 2015 and is accompanied by an exhibition catalog with essay by Peter Frank, Los Angeles art critic, writer and editor of Fabrik Magazine. Shulamit Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm. Parking is available at the parking structure located across the street from LA Louver Gallery or at the Venice Beach parking lot at the end of North Venice Blvd. Please email or call us if you would like to attend one of the special events or schedule an appointment to view works with the curator or one of the gallery directors.