when i was thinking about an ideal place for my art work to be displayed, i immediately thought about a place and time that would activate the work beyond the walls of museums and galleries. these days, it’s hard not to think about the presidential candidate debates, which reminded me of this older work that i had made in 2009 in response to a social movement, and inspired by the arrest of Majid Tavakoli, an Iranian student activist around the time of election in Iran. In the series, i embodied portraits of a man in heijab as the woman that i am. somehow, this image made sense to me to be shown in the Trump rallies, where the last thing we expect to see is a picture of a Middle Eastern immigrant in heijab - and here, a sexually ambiguous man in heijab. the idea of “most unlikely place” - and more controversial and subversive - was more interesting to me than defining what the “ideal” place or property for my work to exist in would be. or perhaps, this rally is the ideal place.
Born in 1984, in Tehran, Iran, Shagha Ariannia is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Her work has been exhibited at 18th Street Art Center, KCHUNG TV as part of Made.In.LA 2014, Commonwealth and Council, Art Platform, Co/lab and the Torrance Art Museum, all in Los Angeles, and at the Galarie der Hochschule in Braunschweig, Germany. Ariannia holds a MFA from CalArts and a BA from the University of California, Irvine.