Shadi Harouni
(Hamedan, Iran, 1985)

The Owl’s Made a Nest in the Ruins of the Heart: Film Still, 2021

Photograph, digital print on Hahnemühle mounted on dibond
55 × 41 × 5 cm (framed)
Ed. 2 of an edition of 5 + 2 AP
[Photo: © Maurizio Esposito. Courtesy Shadi Harouni e / and Galleria Tiziana Di Caro]

In her work Shadi Harouni reflects on the social and political crises, on the history of cancellation and resistance, in particular as concerns the grottoesand cemeteries of Kurdistan, and on the growing housing crisis in her country.

The work The Owl’s Made a Nest in the Ruins of the Heart is dedicated to the latter theme, and corresponds to a photographic still from the video produced by the artist in Iranian Kurdistan. It shows the inside of a house in poor condition and without any human beings, where a cow moves about freely. In the video the animal’s movement is accompanied by the voice of a Kurdish dissident who once lived in the house. He reflects on the spaces he occupied during his lifetime: from the house of the village he lived in as a child, to the prison cells at one time occupied by real horses, to the house visible in the artist’s video whose doors have been opened up to the animals almost as a form of protest.

Shadi Harouni currently lives in New York. In 2017 she’s been appointed director of Undergraduate Program in Studio Art at New York University. Her art and writing have been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, Shifter Magazine, among other publications. She exhibited at The Queens Museum, NY; The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NY; MUCA, Rome; Mexico City; Cathouse Funeral, Brooklyn; Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como; Institut Pierre Werner, Luxembourg. She has been awarded a Harpo Foundation Grant, A.I.R. Fellowship, residencies at Fondazione Antonio Ratti, SOMA (Mexico), Lower East Side Printshop (NY) and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Maine). Harouni holds an MFA from New York University (2011) and a BA from University of Southern California (2007). In 2019 she has been named Acting Director at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.