Bahareh Khoshooee is a multidisciplinary artist born in Tehran, Iran in 1991, the year the Internet was made available for unrestricted commercial use. In her work she explores the underlying tension between reality and fiction, confabulation and manipulation, false memories and alternative facts. She attended Skowhegan School of Art and Painting in 2018, received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida in 2017, and her BA in Industrial Design from the University of Tehran in 2014.
Khoshooee will be mounting her solo exhibition at Baxter St in November 2020. She has presented her work at the Orlando Museum of Art (Orlando), NADA MIAMI 2018, Elsewhere (New York), Housing (New York), and Rawson Projects (New York). She has been included in various group exhibitions including at The Immigrant Artist Biennial (New York), C24 Gallery (New York), Museum of Photography (Stockholm), 2018 Taiwan Annual (Taipei), Fajr International Film Festival 2018 (Tehran), and the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Artnet News, Vice, The Metro, and The Creators Project.
I investigate the fluidity of identity (or as Marx would put it: Gattungswesen) in relation to society. Immigration was an epiphany for me; my comprehension of the essence of identity has drastically transformed and evolved to a new form. The amalgam of a self-assured liberal woman and a perplexed new-come immigrant led my artistic practice to a new level; one’s socio-economic class could drastically change from one environment to another, one country to another, and thus would the notion of identity.
My practice explores the concept of self and other, technology and its imperfection, diaspora culture and fragmentation. Confabulation (fabricating memories unintentionally) has become a means of resistance, to fill the gaps of identity, to hold the fragments of self together. I question the difference between confabulators and gas-lighters, false memory and alternative facts. Because of the nature of my subject matter, I am unable to show my work in my home country. There is always a cultural/religious transgression in my pieces (due to my use of footage of unveiled women -mostly myself, personal home movies, etc.). This creates a dislocation in my work on a foundational level. I use my body as a tool and my performance as a process in creating visual imaginary liminal spaces and self-estranged characters. Body as the physical representation of human’s conscious being, mostly fails to truly represent ‘who we are’ and yet it is the only physical output of us, it is attached to ‘us.’ Using my body, I invoke the viewer to exist in a conflicted state; at once immersed in my perspective and at the same time aware of the farce; the experience of being the other and being the first person, back and forth.