Project for Empty Space is pleased to present GHOSTS, a solo exhibition of new works by Artist in Residence, Amy Khoshbin. In a site-specific engagement with loss and transition, GHOSTS will be the last exhibition shown at the current site of Project for Empty Space, opening at 2 Gateway Center on October 23rd, 6-9pm.
Rooted in dystopic mythic narrative around death, perdition, and rebirth, GHOSTS explores ideas of grief, loss, greed, chaos, and corruption from the personal to the political. Through both humorous and melancholic installation, video, and sculpture, Khoshbin enters the conversation via the lens of her own story, with the recent loss of her father. Exploring legacy by using his personal artifacts and distinctive advice as source material, Khoshbin reflects on the universal and specific methodologies of memorialization– the archives and subsequent mythologies we leave behind. Specific books that formed her father’s ideology, such as Passages and Executive Time Management, become guides in traversing not only her Iranian father’s immigrant history as a manager in corporate America, but also the larger ideas of migration, belonging, and the failure of the American dream.
Khoshbin’s Iranian father is a character who reappears in her work as a conduit to explore identity and legacy through embodiment and performance. In GHOSTS, Khoshbin uses photography, collage, and immersive installation to specifically focus on his role as a corporate businessman in America, his life spent seeking “success” – working his way up the ladder only to hit the glass ceiling because of his accent and heritage. Using science fiction tropes and historical research in her practice, Khoshbin focuses on the cyclical fallacy of ideologies that subsume personal humanity in the service of capitalist gain.
Khoshbin takes a critical position on the state of contemporary America. She approaches today’s socio-political reality of a divided nation split between a heavily corporatized, white supremacist, patriarchal government and the proletariat. She uses her personal history as source material while also pulling imagery and technique from ancient Egyptian dioramas, Persian miniature painting series such as the Shahnameh, and elements from corporate welcome packets as a means to demonstrate the systemic and cyclical continuity of power hierarchies throughout history. Notable pieces amongst this new body of work include Lifetime Guarantee (2019), a life-size executive desk fashioned in the shape of a coffin– a nod to the current administration; Hellcome! (2019), a satirical corporate onboarding video; and Love you billions (2019), a death shroud of Khoshbin’s father’s handkerchiefs hand-sewn by the artist’s mother that speaks both to the Muslim and Baha’i funerary traditions of wrapping the body before burial, and the historic tradition of lovers embroidering messages to one another.
GHOSTS will be on view through December 20th, 2019.
Above Image: Dad: Suits, 2019 (photo credit: Amira Wedeman)