Leila Seyedzadeh: An Absent View

Curated by Jamie Martinez at The Border Project Space

November 20 – December 12, 2020


*Social distance orders are mandated: two to three people are allowed in the space at once. Masks are required.*


The Border Project Space is pleased to present An Absent View, a solo exhibition by the Iranian visual artist Leila Seyedzadeh. The show, curated by Jamie Martinez, will be on view from November 20 to December 12, 2020.


Seyedzadeh’s works—influenced by Persian miniature and landscapes—contemplates the “dwelling in-between two worlds,” the chasm between presence and absence. Her pieces are saturated with dichotomies: physical and non-physicality, inner and outer space, weight and weightlessness, transparency and opacity, and altitude and gravity. As an expatriate living on the east coast of the United States, she has struggled to connect to Western landscapes. In turn, she has assembled an installation that is reminiscent of Tehran: “I have been carrying my memories of the mountains of Tehran and I’m trying to recreate them.”


To pay homage to her native land, she uses materials imbued with cultural and symbolic profundity: large hand-dyed fabrics and Persian hand woven jajims, handmade textiles, woven from cotton or wool (a fabric that has contributed to Iran’s rich, artistic history). She, tactfully, constructs peaks and contours with ropes and folds, a contrast to the rigid, stable structure of the jajims that lay beneath the vibrant and playful collage of cloth. Seyedzadeh integrates her narrative—extractions from her subconscious—into her installation, which manifests into an expansive, dynamic reflection of an absent view.


The Blue Sky

The Sky is not blue in all places

There are mountains, there are trees

There are no mountains, there are trees

Yet the sky here is higher

The shadows follow me

The outlines around the objects

My imagination of the perception of the objects

A single sugar cube dissolved in the ocean

Tied to a familiar object in a suitcase

I have placed my hand on a driftwood of memories

From the zenith to the nadir, from the abyss of the ocean to the apex of the sky

Towards which haven in this endless ocean?

“Here my heart is full of yearning and wistfulness

And every instrument whose sound I hear is inharmonious

Let’s pack our travel satchels

And head towards an endless journey

To see whether the sky is the same color in other places”*


Leila Seyedzadeh

*Mehdi Akhavān-Sāles


Leila Seyedzadeh is an Iranian visual artist based in New York who received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2019 and BFA from The University of Science and Culture in 2014. She was a recipient of the H.Lee Hirsche prize and Soma Summer fellowship at Yale School of Art. She has been invited to participate in exhibitions which include shows at High line nine Gallery, The Ford Foundation, Dubai art fair, Whitebox Gallery and Her work is represented in institutional exhibitions in the US and Iran which includes Green Hall Gallery at Yale University and Ahvaz Contemporary Art museum in Iran. She is currently an artist in residence at Nars Foundation in New York and completed her residency at NYFA (New York) and SOMA (Mexico City) 2019-2018. 




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