Farhad Ahrarnia participates in a group exhibition at Shirin gallery that showcases works from Rose Issa Projects' newly published tome Sign of the Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti . The publication spans six decades of art from the Arab world and Iran, featuring artists who have used either Arabic or Persian script in their work, or who have been creatively influenced by the morphology of letters.
For the exhibition, Ahrarnia presents embroidered works from his Bury My Heart series that depict portraits of Native Americans that have been “stitched up” with Persian script spelling out margh dar amrika [death in America] as a metaphor for modern-day colonialism and territorial expansion. Bury My Heart explores the foundation of America as a nation built on the eradication of its indigenous people and culture.
From the outset of the war imposed on Iran in the 1980s, Iranian national TV channels began screening American Westerns, but with a difference: contrary to the norm, viewers identified and sympathized with the plight of the Native Americans as a colonised people. In Sign of the Times, Ahrarnia describes the series as "awakening the chant of those restless ghosts still hovering beneath the skin of that expansive land called America."
The exhibition is on view from 22 - 28 December 2016.