Presented and hosted by Windsor Art Center, this exhibition and programming will feature two Iranian women artists who have a deep understanding of the history as well as lived experiences to share. Featured artists include Mahsa Attaran and Leila Ghasemi.
Mahsa Attaran is a Persian visual artist and fashion designer currently pursuing her MFA in Studio Arts and teaching photography at the University of Connecticut, whose work delves into surrealism, history, culture, family connections, and social justice. She is particularly passionate about uncovering the hidden depths of her family’s history. Mahsa’s creations blend Persian culture, art, and her personal experiences as an Iranian woman, incorporating feminine elements and vintage artifacts from her family. Her work primarily explores themes of history, family connections, Persian cultural heritage, and art, all while examining how subtle influences from history, religion, and outdated beliefs continue to shape our lives.
Leila Ghasemi is an Iranian artist and architect focused on the oppressive conditions that Iranians, especially women, are experiencing every day. Following her graduation, she participated in several architectural competitions and continued to receive honors before finally opening her own architecture office. During her studies at SCI-Arc, she developed an interest in performance art, and in 2021, she wrapped herself in bubble wrap which was suspended from the ceiling to challenge traditional painting on canvas and to demonstrate that there are no limits in art. As she continued to explore the intersection of performance and architecture, she decided to merge the two worlds and use them to address social justice issues faced by Iranian women. She wanted to use this platform to express dissent away from government surveillance and create a safe space for women’s activism. Her project not only served as a piece of protest and critique, but also demonstrated how architecture and communication tools could be used to enable and disseminate protest more broadly in Iran and beyond. She graduated on September 11th, 2022, and just days later, the Iranian morality police killed a woman named Mahsa Amini, sparking a revolution led by Iranian women. This was the beginning of what she had speculated about – a near-future Iran where women would take the lead in revolution.