You are in the war zone.: Farideh Sakhaeifar

Trotter&Sholer and KODA are pleased to present, You are in the war zone., a solo survey exhibition by Farideh Sakhaeifar addressing the impact of war and the repercussions of displacement.


Sakhaeifar is an artist and educator who employs a range of media to critique US foreign policy and the Western narrative of the war in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region. Her creative practice includes sculpture, video, installation, collage, and collaboration with HEKLER, an artist-run collaborative platform fostering the critical examination of hospitality and conflict. This exhibition derives its title from, You are in the war zone (2016-2017), a series of Sakhaeifar’s silver gelatin prints of NYC’s everyday life overexposed and inscribed with hand-traced drawings from Syria’s civil war. The juxtaposition of who suffers and who benefits from conflict is also on display in Pending (2016), a series of digital interventions on photographs of Syrian refugees at the borders of Turkey and Iraq sourced from The New York Times, Getty, and Reuters reports. The bodies of the refugees have been erased leaving only the objects that they carry to represent the violence and trauma experienced during their journey. Toppled (2015) is a bronze statue of a faceless dictator with a rope around its neck in the moment before an act of iconoclasm. The absence of any references to a specific oppressed people allows the sculpture to stand for the collective memory of all rage and victory that gathers at the base of fallen monuments. When pulling down a statue, a chain works better than a rope (2021) is a digital collage of defaced and destroyed statues around the world. The palimpsest of archival photography commemorates the collective “vandalism” done in solidarity and the pursuit of inclusion. Acquired from the above by the present owner (2014) focuses on the [invisible] war and US sanctions imposed on Iran. In this documentary project, Sakhaeifar interviews people who have acquired US army gear from Tehran’s black market. The testimonies investigate the reasons behind purchasing and collecting the gear that is presented in wooden coffins, their portraits being drawn through the collection of objects they possessed.