Katayoun Amjadi

Domestic Affairs

Domestic Affairs investigates the idea of home in body, structure and land, and explores the culturally embedded promise of security and hope engendered in the archetypal house. It explores a conceptual topography of “place”; it is a kind of domestic archeology.

The exploration of the concept of home can reveal deeply ambiguous and complex phenomena: its interface with identity, its connections to security vs openness to difference and other, it can embody the sense of inclusion/exclusion, freedom/incarceration, movement/entrapment, displacement and belonging.

We tend to map the contours of security and safety into the image of home as a protective refuge, a shelter from the storm, as if they were the essential constituent parts of making a home. If so then what becomes of the homeless, the unmooring of the subjects of exchangeable labor, the children born into diaspora, those that live in the cracks, fissures and shadows of the world; what happens to those consigned to forage through the wasteland of broken promises? What happens when we live in fear or hatred of otherness, homelessness, of alterity?

When you wake from the dream and realize, it’s too late, 2019
emergency blankets, copper tubing, needle and thread, root, Egyptian paste molded with Gladware container lid
3’ 6” x  5’ x 7’

In Your Backyard – installation & video projection, 2018

Helter Shelter
Copper tubing, emergency blankets, needle and thread, video projection
3’ 6” x  5’ x 7’

This work explores the contours of home as the protective refuge and sheltering eave, and the promise of security and hope engendered in the archetypal house. Yet it is conflated with the vulnerability of the body, skin and bones: fragile, naked, and exposed. As the world’s history of conflict falls like rain, a rift is sewn then torn again, a roof breached with the pulsing light of the rockets glare, the sirens of emergency ring. This always closer than you imagine.

Blues of the Glad Tree
Poplar tree, oil barrel, Persian blue paste, welding rods, sand
6’ x 6’ x 9’

This work ties the tree in our yard to global dominion. The sheltering shade troubled by the dislocation of the sour root and bitter fruit.

It’s a Fine Line Between
Egyptian faience, gold luster
12 in. x 8 in. x 3 in. each

The line separates or binds: a balance point, a hinge, a margin of safety or distance to fear. It’s a fine line between there or here.

House Charms and Oven Charms, 2018
14″ x 10.5″ x 1.2” each pan
Egyptian faience amulets, muffin pans

One Window – installation & video projection, 2018
video projection, emergency blanket, cloths pins

 The translucent and reflective material of the Emergency blanket in this installation serves as a screen for projection of the One Window video. The sound component are the readings of Forough Farokhzad’s poem by a male and a female voice reading same poem in Farsi and English. The voices are slightly out of rhythm, on the edge of discordant as if waves from two seas meeting, yet both being water, if you listen closely to the longer cycle they find the contrapuntal pacing, word for word. In an abandoned attic where only one window faintly lights the room, a nude female body conceals herself with an emergency blanket. The action is repeatedly reversed while the sound component of Forough Farokhzad’s poem readings weave in and out of one another.

One Window
HD video | 04:23

In the Shelter of the Window
HD video | 04:23

Gate, 2017
90″ x 48″ x 8″ (sand circle: 108″ in diameter)
cast concrete, cast porcelain, plexiglass, steel armature, sand

Wall, 2017
17’ 6” x 6’ 8” x  8”
plexiglass, cast porcelain door knobs, concrete blocks

Cart, 2017
60” x 60” x 38” (installation size varies based on the space)
shopping cart, cast porcelain

Hood, 2017

Picket, 2017